Tag Archives: appeal

Nepal earthquake: three months on

nullThree months since Nepal was devastated by an earthquake, CAFOD’s Nana Anto-Awuakye visited a community receiving support thanks to your donations. She writes:

As we bump along the narrow potholed roads in Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu, heading east for a village in the Kavrepalanchok district, it’s hard to imagine that this bustling city, along with the rest of the country, was struck by a violent earthquake just three months ago.

The earthquake that hit on 25 April shattered lives and reduced ancient and modern buildings, as well as family homes, to rubble within a matter of minutes. It left almost 9,000 people dead and thousands of others injured.

Not more than three weeks later, amid the ongoing rescue efforts and emergency aid distributions, another powerful tremor shook the country, claiming more lives and adding to the human suffering.

Donate to our Nepal Earthquake Appeal

It is testament to the Nepalese people that today you find terracotta bricks from collapsed buildings in Kathmandu organised into neat piles ready for re-use. It is only as you head out of the city on the tarmac road that you see structurally unsound, lopsided buildings, and houses cracked beyond repair. Seeing them jolts you into remembering the devastation the earthquake unleashed.

I ask our driver Rayesh how the capital has been cleared up and brought back to normal so quickly.

“We came together as a nation because we did not want to be defeated by this earthquake,” he says. “But you will see that in remote areas things are different.” Continue reading

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Filed under Asia, CAFOD, earthquake, Emergency, Nepal

Lent 2015: Why I’m doubling my baking

Cupcakes to raise money for CAFOD's Lent Appeal

Strawverry cupcakes to raise money for CAFOD’s Lent Appeal

Laura works in CAFOD’s communications team in London. She tells us why she has decided to do double the baking this Lent to fundraise for CAFOD

I’ve always loved baking. But I’ve been doing a lot more since I became a mum. That’s why I’ve decided to double my baking this Lent to raise money for CAFOD’s Lent Appeal.

Since I had my son Alfie, who is now two years old, I’m at home in the evenings more anyway and I find baking a great way to relax and unwind after a busy day. Not to mention the treat of a home-baked cake that you get to share with your family at the end. And I like the thought of Alfie having a treat where I know exactly what’s gone into it, with no nasties.

Give to CAFOD’s Lent Appeal

There’s something so calming about baking that I don’t find with other cooking. Maybe it’s the precise measurements and instructions that give me a sense of control in a chaotic world. Or that every time you take a freshly-baked cake out of the oven, you can’t help thinking that a little bit of magic’s happened. The sloppy mess that went into the tin transforms into a spongy, golden, morsel that smells deliciously of warm, sugary sweetness.

Fundraise in your parish or school with our Fast Day resources

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Filed under Asia, CAFOD, CAFOD Westminster, Climate Change, disaster, donate, Family, Fast Day, fundraising, myanmar

Boxing Day tsunami: the lessons we have learned

Matthew Carter, CAFOD’s Humanitarian Director, reflects on the devastating events of 26 December 2004 and what we have learned in the decade since.

Please pray for all those whose lives were torn apart>>

27747On Boxing Day ten years ago, I was, like many people, taking a Christmas break. My family and I were staying in our normal Christmas hideaway – a very remote croft on the Isle of Skye. I remember texts coming in on my phone early in the morning from a friend and colleague in India saying there had been a massive tsunami. But it wasn’t until a few hours later that the scale of the disaster started to unfold.

I vividly remember coordinating the CAFOD response from a tiny attic bedroom in the cottage, set amongst a wild landscape and deep in snow. My three-year-old daughter sat downstairs next to a roaring fire, playing with her Christmas toys, while my son of just three weeks lay sleeping next to me. There was a sense of bizarre calmness, while on the other side of the world there was total destruction and appalling human loss. In the province of Aceh in Indonesia, over 170,000 people lost their lives.   Continue reading

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Philippines typhoon: Amalia’s story

Thanks to your donations, we have worked with local carpenters to build permanent homes.

Thanks to your donations, we have worked with local carpenters to build permanent homes.

One year since Typhoon Haiyan (known locally as Yolanda) hit the Philippines, we have helped thousands of people move into new homes.

Find out about the typhoon and our response>>

“I thought Typhoon Yolanda would be like other typhoons,” says 83-year-old Amalia. “But it was more like four typhoons in one.”

Amalia, who lives on the northern tip of the island of Iloilo in the Philippines, shudders as she remembers the roar of the wind: it was deafening, she says, like the revving of a bus engine amplified many times over.

With her roof about to be blown away above her, Amalia’s son urged her to take shelter in their duck-house, which he thought would be stronger than her bamboo home.

“I didn’t want to go outside, luckily,” Amalia says. “The duck-house was the first thing to be destroyed.”

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Ebola crisis: hope and sacrifice

By Catherine Mahony, CAFOD’s Emergency Coordinator for West Africa, who is coordinating our response to the Ebola Crisis in Sierra Leone. Please donate to our Ebola Crisis Appeal>>

Caritas_Sierra Leone_Tommy Trenchard_Oct (12)Today was a great day: for the first time in two months, all CAFOD’s national staff came back into the office to work on our programme of Ebola response operations. Until now, for safety, many staff have been working from home.

Everyone returned to the office with enthusiasm – it has been hard to be separated, at home, apart from our teammates. Sometimes the sense of powerlessness has been difficult, but we all felt it was a privilege to be able to contribute tangibly to stopping Ebola and help people when they need it most.

We started the day by sharing our hopes and fears. We’ve all been affected by the Ebola crisis in some way.  Many of us are afraid: of the everyday dangers of infection, of risks to our loved ones and of what will become of the country. We were pleased to find that our strengths outweighed our weaknesses, and our hopes were greater than our fears.

Please donate to our Ebola Crisis Appeal>>

Some of the things we thought would make it harder for us are in fact the things that will make us stronger: Dennis, CAFOD’s programme officer for the safe burial programme, pointed out that Sierra Leoneans have come through a long and bitter civil war, and this makes them more resilient: they know that they have survived and learned from that. The country and its people have been rebuilt, so people know that they have what it takes to face this enormous challenge.

We also acknowledged the sacrifices people are making, small and large. We noted how hard it is to hold back the handshakes and hugs of greeting, how difficult it is not to travel to see families in other districts, and for children to stay at home, bored and restless, because schools are closed and they can’t play outside. But we saw that people are observing the safety measures, because they believe that by doing it they will end the crisis sooner: people are positive; they are making these sacrifices because they believe this crisis will end.

At the weekend, Dennis lost his uncle to Ebola. He wasn’t able to attend the funeral and his family have been shaken by the loss. Soon Dennis will be training new safe burial teams in Kambia District in the north of the country. I can only imagine how difficult this will be for him. But I know that his experience will help him to work with the teams to ensure that the burials are safe but dignified, so that families can say goodbye to their loved ones with the respect and care that they deserve. Continue reading

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