Do you love enough to act on climate change?

By Sophie Dodgeon, Head of Campaigns

In September, CAFOD will launch a major new campaign on climate change and sustainable energy.

The reason we care about climate change is simple. It is making it even harder to end poverty. Whether it is typhoons or floods destroying entire communities’ livelihoods, or unpredictable seasons for farmers leaving millions hungry, climate change is undoing years of our work to tackle poverty and improve people’s opportunities.

Palo, Leyte Island, Philippines - devastation after Typhoon Haiyan

Devastation in the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan

And what’s more, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), considered the leading authority on the science behind the issue, has said it is extremely likely that humans are responsible for the majority of climate change. So we all have a part to play in protecting Creation.

We all love something that is going to be affected by climate change >>

Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, spoke at St Paul’s Cathedral in London at the beginning of May. I went along, eager to hear what this global figure would have to say about the role of faith groups and faith leaders in speaking out about climate change. Continue reading

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“When I hear the word legacy, I think of something inspirational”

My Catholic Legacy - Nana Anto-Awuakye CAFOD World News teamAs part of the Your Catholic Legacy campaign, we asked some of our friends to share their thoughts on why leaving a legacy is important.

Nana Anto-Awuakye works in our World News team.

 

What role has your faith played in determining your path in life?

My faith has taught me from childhood into adulthood to always strive to be the difference in someone’s life. It’s a struggle to live this out in daily life, simply because human nature means that putting yourself first is an easier option. Being the difference means reaching out to the stranger, not just to those who are familiar. It is always a challenge. It’s had a big impact on both my professional and my personal life. In my working career in international development I feel passionately about bringing the lives and voices of people deeply affected by poverty, to wider attention.


Can you tell us about something that you’ve inherited from someone else?

My mother gave me a Kente cloth, passed down through generations of women in my family. It’s a traditional Ghanaian cloth with stunning colours. The yellow in the cloth represents prosperity, and the woven pattern represents community and family. It gives me pride in my heritage and reminds me that we all work together. I wear it for special occasions and when visiting CAFOD projects. It’s a great conversation starter!


What do you think of when you hear the word ‘legacy’?

When I hear the word legacy, I think of something inspirational. I think of action, and making a difference.


What kind of legacy would you like to leave?

I’d like to be remembered as someone who was optimistic; someone who believed in change and saw nothing as a barrier.


Is leaving a legacy important to you as a Catholic?

As a Catholic, I think leaving a legacy is important. Whether it’s a financial gift, or it’s inspiring others, a legacy is a continuation of our faith and our values – a reflection of the life you lived.

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Working with faith leaders to reduce HIV stigma

Georgia and Tofik (2)Georgia Burford, CAFOD’s HIV Strategy Manager, writes:

Amongst the thousands of attendees at the International AIDS conference this week, there are some faces that are more familiar than others. Bill Clinton attracted a large audience speaking at one of the sessions, and he reflected on the event as a whole: “This is called a conference but I think it’s really a movement”.

He also spoke about the need to increase treatment for AIDS – but warned that, in order to do this, “we need to redouble our efforts to combat stigma and prejudice. Unbelievably, stigma is on the rise in some places.”

This talk of stigma and prejudice struck a chord with me because, as I mentioned in an earlier blog, I had presented at the conference on some of CAFOD’s work to address HIV-related stigma and discrimination.

Whether through fear, ignorance or prejudice against being different, people living with HIV can be faced with challenges that go beyond their immediate health. They can be disowned by their families, made to use a different toilet from their neighbours, have customers refuse to come to their market stall or even be denied holy water in church. Continue reading

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Hands On – Water is life

Antony Mbandi, the Director of our local partner Caritas Kitui, stopped by to talk to us about Hands On – our new project in Kitui.

 

Help Antony and the community in Kitui achieve their dream of a new water supply. Get Hands On today >>

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by | July 24, 2014 · 3:09 pm

What’s water got to do with HIV?

Georgia on panel (2)Georgia Burford, CAFOD’s HIV Strategy Manager, writes:

It’s another busy day at the 20th International AIDS conference in Melbourne. Today I had the opportunity to present at a session with Water Aid on how CAFOD is linking up the different areas of work we do. Working with some of the poorest and most marginalised communities, we address HIV and we address the need for clean water and safe sanitation. But people’s lives aren’t segmented into neat little compartments so our work can’t be either.

On average, a person living with HIV needs two and a half times as much water as someone who is not HIV positive. For example, someone living with HIV requires good nutrition in order for AIDS treatment to work. This means that they need to have ready access to clean water for growing, washing and cooking food.

Yet despite this increased need, people living with HIV will often face increased barriers to accessing clean water and safe sanitation. Misconceptions of how HIV is transmitted may mean someone living with HIV faces hostility when trying to use a water pump. Continue reading

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Your valuable solidarity gives us strength when we face life’s challenges

 

Ethiopia Connect2 - Abba Solomon

Abba Solomon, parish priest at Sebeya Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Ethiopia, looking at a card and wooden cross sent from a Connect2 parish in England.

 

It gives me great pleasure to receive messages of solidarity from people in England and Wales. Since we have been connected with the parishes, we have received so many messages and letters and cards, all stating the importance of walking alongside us. I am especially struck by letters from children – children who have taken the time to write amazing messages to other young people they have never met in Sebeya. These messages are encouraging and insightful for Sebeya children, who do not have any idea about life in England and Wales.

This communication through Connect2 helps us to understand each other. And your valuable solidarity gives us strength when we face life’s challenges.

Your solidarity has also supported our community practically: school children and the local community now use a renovated clean water source, and a group of women have started their own business and are keeping chickens. The training and money given to my community has been so very valuable. Hopefully lots of our challenges will be resolved with the support we receive from the people of England and Wales.

If your parish would like to sign up to Connect2, please visit: cafod.org.uk/connect2

 

 

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