Ben Price currently stars as Nick Tilsley in Coronation Street, and has acted as an ambassador for a number of CAFOD’s campaigns and appeals.
My Christmas list this year is slightly unusual. Instead of the customary socks, books and DVDs, I’m asking for a camel, a donkey and a couple of chirpy chickens. It may sound like I’m planning to set up my own farm, but actually, these are all gifts which feature in CAFOD’s World Gifts range of alternative presents.
World Gifts in Uganda
Earlier this year I travelled to Karamoja – in rural Uganda – where I met communities who have benefitted from World Gifts and saw firsthand the difference this scheme can make to the lives of people living in poverty.
Ben Price with beekeeper Paul
Greener than many of its neighbours, and home to both the highest mountain range in Africa and the source of the mighty Nile, Winston Churchill famously described Uganda as the ‘Pearl of Africa’. Unlike much of the country, however, due to its harsh climate and low annual rainfall, the Karamoja region is predominantly a semi-arid plain – causing many problems for the communities who live there.
Time and again during my trip I met people who were struggling to feed themselves because of ongoing drought. Most of those I spoke to were farmers but the lack of rain meant they were no longer able to cultivate crops or keep animals.
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CAFOD and its partner Caritas Moroto are working in the area to make sure the most vulnerable people have enough clean water to drink and food to eat. They’re helping families to grow more crops using drought-resistant seeds and to increase their household income by selling surplus produce at market. For communities whose traditional work – like cattle rearing – is under threat, they’re ensuring long-term development by providing innovative ways for families to earn a sustainable income. Continue reading
By Vanessa Chang, who works on creating gifts for the annual CAFOD World Gifts catalogue.
For me, one of the best things about this festive period is singing Christmas carols and amongst my favourites is Little Donkey.
We often sing and hear about shepherds, wise men and angels but I sometimes forget about the long journey Joseph and heavily pregnant Mary made into Bethlehem. The journey was made easier by a donkey that Mary rode on and Little Donkey reminds us how the donkey carried her safely on the dusty road.
2,000 years later, donkeys are still proving to be trustworthy animals but now the precious load is water.
Buy a donkey for a family living in poverty >>
In the Erder community of Ethiopia, fetching water is hard, back-breaking work. Rising at dawn, women and girls walk for up to eight hours to the nearest well, filling heavy 20-litre jerry cans that they then must carry home. A donkey, however, can carry this amount of water – and much more – with ease – removing the burden placed upon families. Continue reading
Our Web Editor, Ffion Dean, has been thinking of ways to have a more eco friendly Christmas.
Ffion celebrating Christmas 2012
Christmas time is full of great joy and happiness, a time to relax and to spend time with our loved ones. But it’s also a time when we create a huge amount of waste – an estimated 736,571 tonnes each year in Britain alone! This year, CAFOD’s Advent calendar follows the story of Sinteyo, a woman living with the effects of a changing climate in rural Kenya, and offers some ideas about how we can all make changes in our lives to help our planet.
But what can we do to try and have a greener Christmas?
1. Wrapping paper
One year I challenged my family to cover their presents without using any newly purchased paper.
My mum bought a roll of fabric, cut it into different sizes and tied the packages together with strips of ribbon. They looked lovely and have been reused every year since.
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.”
This reflection and prayer were written by Sue Cooper from Corpus Christi parish, Wokingham, and are taken from our weekly reflections email. Sign up to receive reflections every Friday on our Pray pages >>
Based on the gospel for Sunday 16 November – Matthew 25:14-30
CAFOD’s partner in Nicaragua runs a beekeeping project to give women a source of income. They work in a group to care for hives and bees and are then able to sell the honey produced. CAFOD’s World Gifts have a variety of bee gifts – perfect for the honey lover in your family!
“The man who had received five talents came forward bringing five more.”
This parable of the talents reminds us that though we may have differing abilities, we have all been gifted by God and we all have something to offer.
In the passage, the first two servants are empowered by the gift of talents to make a difference. In a similar way people throughout the world are being enabled to improve their lives through the support of CAFOD’s World Gifts. Continue reading