By Vanessa Chang who works on creating gifts for the annual CAFOD World Gifts catalogue.
Felicity and Joe Isaacs bought World Gifts to celebrate their wedding (Photographer – Emma Boileau)
When planning your special day there are often lots of things you need to organise: a venue, food, invitations, music, THE dress… the list goes on. One couple from Lancashire however, added another more unusual item to their wedding to-do list – a CAFOD World Gifts Medical outreach team.
This summer, Felicity and Joe Isaacs invited guests to donate to World Gifts during their wedding reception. Generous guests raised over £500 which the happy couple put towards two medical outreach teams, funding medical professionals to bring essential healthcare to remote communities.
Felicity, a maths teacher at Cardinal Newman College, Preston, said:
“CAFOD is a charity we’ve been involved with for some time. I run a CAFOD Group at college which helps to fundraise and raise awareness of the causes of poverty.
“Joe and I thought it would be nice for the money people normally spend at a wedding to go to other people. My mum is a nurse at Royal Preston Hospital so we know the difference that medical care can make in people’s lives.”
By Hannah Caldwell, CAFOD Legacy Officer.
A Mayan altar at Santa Maria Chiquimula in Totonicapán, Guatemala. Photo by Sarah Smith-Pearse/CAFOD
This November, CAFOD is holding a number of memorial masses across the country in memory of all our supporters who have passed away.
For over fifty years, CAFOD has been reaching out to communities suffering as a result of natural disaster, conflict and injustice. But our work has only been possible thanks to the dedication and support of our friends over the years. Without it, we simply couldn’t exist. From the first Fast Day held in 1960, it has been the Catholic community who have held us up through their donations, prayers and actions, enabling us to provide hope and help to some of the world’s poorest people.
Find out more about the CAFOD memorial masses >>
Sadly, a number of these supporters who have been such an important part of our work are no longer with us. But we continue to remember them and give thanks for the impact they’ve had on our work and on the lives of countless men, women and children around the world.
By Sonia Pritchard, Knowledge Management Coordinator
Thérèse Mema (in green) with staff from the Justice and Peace Commission in Bukavu, eastern DRC
I have mixed emotions when planning for CAFOD’s annual 16 days of activism against gender violence exhibition. On one hand, I’m eager to share our partners’ incredible work with communities here in the UK who want to make a difference. On the other hand, I struggle to stay positive when hearing about the extent to which women and men are affected by sexual and gender violence across the globe. The statistics are appalling. World Health Organisation figures indicate that one in three women worldwide have experienced either intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, it’s estimated that at least 200,000 women and girls have been raped since 1998.
The 16 days of activism against gender-based violence is a global campaign that takes place every year to raise awareness and galvanise action to end sexual and gender-based violence. CAFOD uses the opportunity to speak out with like-minded organisations to raise awareness, to share strategies and to demonstrate our solidarity with survivors.
Find out more about our work on gender >>
Mark Hoban MP and Catherine Mckinnell MP with CAFOD partners in Kenya
By Catherine McKinnell MP and Mark Hoban MP
There are often fierce debates around how the UK should help poorer countries to develop, from foreign aid to how to support less wealthy countries in developing their own economies.
As Conservative and Labour MPs ourselves, we’re used to finding ourselves on opposing sides of those arguments politically. Disputes on what works and how to measure aid effectiveness can at times muddy the waters about what we can do to help developing countries.
Yet amid that noise, we recently found ourselves in agreement on a fundamental point: we will never eradicate poverty, and help poor people to be self-sufficient, if we don’t make sure that every person in the world has access to a reliable and affordable source of energy.
CAFOD is calling on all MPs from all parties to back our call for a transition from fossil fuels to sustainable energy for all >>
Today over three billion people lack access to electricity, according to the World Bank. The ability to light a room or cook a meal is a basic right we want all our citizens – especially the poorest and most vulnerable – to enjoy. Despite remarkable progress as a country we still fight for energy access today, hence the political debates that rage around affordable energy bills, securing supplies to meet our future needs and how to tackle fuel poverty.
Tom Jarvis before the 2014 Marathon
This year was a special eighteenth birthday for CAFOD runner Tom Jarvis! Turning 18 only two days before, he was the youngest runner in the Virgin London Marathon, beating over 50,000 others and raising over £6,000 for CAFOD’s work around the world.
6 months on, he’s back running for CAFOD and here he tells us why!
“It’s been quite some time since that long and very tiring Sunday when I ran the London Marathon. But now looking back it’s probably one of the best things I have ever done, the atmosphere was crazy, and the encouragement that the CAFOD supporters and staff gave me was amazing.
With all the interviews and press interest and my 18th birthday celebrations it was a very busy couple of weeks. But from that day I sadly stopped running completely, except for a few painful visits to the gym but nothing too strenuous.
So when I saw the tweet from CAFOD about the Nativity Run I seized the opportunity as I knew it would be a great chance to get back in shape, meet up with the CAFOD team again, have fun and of course support my favourite charity! You can sign up here and all the money raised will be going straight to help mums and babies in need this Christmas time.”
For more information on the Nativity Fun Run, or if you would like to join us in the 2015 London Marathon, please email us at cafodchallenge@Cafod.org.uk