December 5, 2018
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.
Continue reading “Celebrating International Volunteers Day with volunteer stories from Nigeria”
May 29, 2018
Thanks to incredible regular support from CAFOD supporters, life in Doutchi has changed for the better.
Despite the challenges of living on the edge of the Sahara, the Doutchi community have hope.
Hope in the knowledge that they can prepare for the future with confidence.
Knowing that the tools and skills they have gained over the past 3 years, will mean that they can provide for their family now, and well in to the future.
Niger is the world’s poorest country and is also one of the hottest. Getting enough food to eat is the biggest challenge for people living here.
Continue reading “Hands On Doutchi: Thanks to you they have hope”
March 18, 2018
CAFOD volunteer, Chris Burkette, who is currently taking part in CAFOD’s Step into the Gap programme and is on placement at Walsingham House, reflects on his time meeting communities in Sierra Leone.
I know for so many people it can be rare to explore outside of Europe, but for many people here in Sierra Leone, it is even rarer that they journey beyond their communities.
Learn more about Step into the Gap
This week has been awe-inspiring, faith-driven and hope-filled. Each day I walked with and alongside members of the towns that made each community so unique.
Continue reading “Step into the Gap: Reflecting on my time in Freetown”
March 15, 2018
CAFOD Step into the Gap volunteer Siobhan Doyle, who is currently completing her placement at Newman University, shares her experience of meeting CAFOD’s partners in Sierra Leone.
Find out more about Step into the Gap
We have spent a week in Kambia visiting CAFOD’s partner – The Kambia District Development and Rehabilitation Organisation, KADDRO for short. The staff have been so welcoming and so willing to answer all of our questions.
We visited three rural communities in Kambia where KADDRO works on access to water, sanitation and health, savings and loans groups, ways to make a living projects and women’s breastfeeding and pregnancy groups.
March 8, 2018
When Laura Storr from CAFOD’s communications team heard how new mum Unity from Zimbabwe was struggling to breastfeed – she knew only too well how difficult it could be. As we look forward to Mother’s Day, she shares her own breastfeeding story and explains how you can help more mums get the specialist support they need by donating this Lent.
It’s 10pm and I’ve been breastfeeding my daughter Rosa on and off for the last five hours. Rosa was born two weeks ago, and every time she tries to feed, which is about 10-12 times a day, my body tenses with pain. At times, its so painful, I cry out. And she rarely seems satisfied. I don’t know how much more of this I can take. And I’m worried that she isn’t putting on weight.
Later that night, I remember that I was given a bunch of leaflets, including information about a breastfeeding support group a short walk from my home in north London. Later that evening, I dig them out, and make an appointment for the next available session.
Donate to CAFOD’s Lent appeal so new mums living in poverty can be trained how to breastfeed
Continue reading “Mother’s Day: why all mums deserve breastfeeding help”
February 3, 2018
CAFOD Step into the Gap volunteer Hannah Collinson shares her experiences of being welcomed by communities in Sierra Leone.
We have just ended an unbelievable week with KADDRO (Kambia District Development and Rehabilitation Organisation) in Kambia, in the North West of Sierra Leone.
Learn how you can get involved with Step into the Gap
As I think back to all the incredible experiences that we have had I am struggling to find words that can do justice to the people we have met throughout this time.
Continue reading “Step into the Gap: A warm welcome”
January 26, 2018
CAFOD Step into the Gap volunteer Siobhan Doyle shares her experiences of arriving in West Africa, meeting CAFOD’s partners and seeing the projects that fundraising in England and Wales has helped to fund.
We have now been in Sierra Leone for three days and have been eating lots of plantain, chicken, and rice! The food is amazing, and I have been eating plantain all day.
Learn more about Step into the Gap
We arrived in Freetown on Sunday night. We got a boat taxi from the airport to Freetown and Janet, who is the program officer, and Alusine, the driver, met us to take us to the hotel. We then had dinner and went straight to bed after the long journey.
Continue reading “Step into the Gap: Arriving in Sierra Leone”
November 6, 2017
Joy Wanless is a volunteer with CAFOD Salford. She shares about what inspired her to become a prayer-writing volunteer. Find out how you can join her.
Me, write a reflection, write prayers? Not I! I was used to reciting traditional prayers and following liturgies prepared by others. Belonging to the Spirituality Team in Salford diocese changed all that. As I became more interested in following CAFOD stories, learning about the treacherous difficulties of life in many parts of the world and the generosity of CAFOD volunteers, I wanted to fuel their passion by enmeshing the prayer with the stories.
Become a prayer writer
A very moving moment from a story which touched me greatly was at a Water Pilgrimage we planned around the diocese, travelling between the churches. As part of the prayer we gave out pieces of rope and invited people to tie them tightly round their waists. This was inspired by the story of Ayapan who ties string round her waist and drinks hot water to cope with hunger.
Continue reading “My journey as a prayer writer”
August 14, 2017
Our belief in the inherent dignity of every person calls us to protect the rights of everyone in our human family. We ask people from some of the organisations we work with why protecting rights is essential if everyone is to reach their God-given potential.
Speak out about human rights – become a campaigner with CAFOD
Continue reading “Why should we protect human rights?”
July 28, 2017
In March 2017, a drought in east Africa, combined with terrible violence between the government and rebels, had created a famine in South Sudan. One of CAFOD’s staff based in the country, Emergency Programme Manager Michael O’Riordan, visited people in March to give out food. At that time he reflected on the emotion and power of the experience.
A haunting refrain
When I was leaving Yirol in central South Sudan following a food distribution, an elderly gentleman in his late 60s kept asking why he wasn’t on the list to receive food. He couldn’t work and therefore couldn’t earn a living. Clearly disabled and using a walking stick, he kept pleading “why am I not deserving?”.
This haunting refrain has echoed in my ears ever since. It is not that he is not deserving; we just don’t have enough for everyone.
You can help food to people who are going hungry – donate to CAFOD’s emergency work
Having returned to this community after just a few months since the last food distribution, we found a bad situation far worse than we could have imagined. Although we are responding as best we can, it is beyond our ability to meet all needs.
Continue reading “Humanitarian aid is more than food. It is a sign of hope.”