For the last three years, CAFOD’s Volunteer Coordinator Specialist Eileen Hayes has been hosting online talks from a little desk in the corner of her kitchen. Recently she met with colleagues and local experts from all over the world to learn more about the world food crisis.
Neil Roper, our Events Coordinator, shares the story of a project which has provided reliable and accessible “clean” and “safe” water for Junamina Primary school as well as villagers in Minsale and Siafugama, Zimbabwe.
Kayode Akintola is CAFOD’s country representative in Sierra Leone and Liberia. He tells us how volunteers fought on the front line in the Ebola crisis and how these countries are preparing for Covid-19.
“Much has been spoken and written about the country of my birth,” says Sylvester Mutsigwa. A year on from Cyclone Idai, CAFOD’s Community Participation Coordinator for Birmingham visited Zimbabwe and found that its recovery is being built on the hope, resilience and love of its people.
Laura Purves, one of CAFOD’s Emergency Response Officers, reflects on her experiences in Sierra Leone during the Ebola epidemic in 2015 – in particular, what was learned that can be used to help in the Democratic Republic of Congo now.
CAFOD’s Film & Photography Officer, Thom Flint, reflects on his trip to Marsabit County in Kenya. There he met some of the most isolated communities, but saw the potential that our global Church network has to reach out.
Willet Salue is CAFOD’s local expert in Liberia, she tells us about Krubah Weedor who has fought for herself and women in Liberia to inherit land. A success we can all celebrate on International Day of Women.
Niamh Melton is a CAFOD Step into the Gap volunteer and is based at the Briars Centre, Nottingham. She recently returned from an overseas visit to Uganda. Here, she reflects on the experiences she had there.
Oge Chukwudozie is a Humanitarian Capacity Strengthening Officer for CAFOD in Nigeria. Oge explains how community volunteers play such a vital role in CAFOD’s work to support remote communities.
As the most populous country on the continent, Nigeria is often referred to as the “Giant of Africa”. It is also large geographically, and transport links are poor in the more rural areas. It takes six hours for CAFOD staff to travel by road from Abuja to Omalla in Kogi state, and this is one of the closest areas where we work.
Community volunteers, supported by CAFOD and its partners, play an important role in supporting remote communities across Nigeria. This International Volunteers Day, on December 5th, I want to celebrate the important role that volunteers play in CAFOD’s work across the world, by sharing the stories of some of the wonderful volunteers in Nigeria.
Dadirai Chikwengo is CAFOD’s Governance Advisor supporting work across Africa, Asia and Latin America. She is currently in Zimbabwe ahead of the first elections since former President, Robert Mugabe – who had been leading the country for over 30 years – stepped down.
In the last five days, I have been taken back to my childhood days. The days when I was a little girl in Gweru. The euphoria and the excitement in the country have taken me back decades to 1980 when Mugabe came into power. It is winter in Zimbabwe. Not that our winters are grey and wet as some place in the North where I now live. Here most of the vegetation looks brown like fields of wheat ready for harvest. But this winter, the colours on the brown barks of the trees have been unusual. From green, yellow, red, blue, you mention it!
In case you think I am out of my mind – surely who has seen a blue tree? I am not. These are all the colours of posters tied up or pasted on the trees. The colours of posters that are lining the streets or on walls whenever you go. Posters of political parties, the Church or the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission about this election. I meet people in the streets who are fearlessly open about their candidate of choice. Clad in the colours of their party every time they see someone in the same colours they acknowledge them and loudly say out the slogan ED Pfee (ED enters) or Chamisa chete chete (Chamisa the only one).