The power of a Birth certificate – a World Gifts update

Rachel works for CAFOD. Here she reflects on how meeting Katy, a CAFOD Gapper, helped her to discover the power of a simple birth certificate, and inspired her to create a new, very special virtual gift for CAFOD’s World Gifts collection that will help babies and children around the world.

The importance of a birth certificate

A birth certificate. Every person needs one, it shows our citizenship, lets us get a passport – it tells the world who we are. And I think that here in the UK, we take this simple legal document for granted.

But for people living in poverty, perhaps in rural areas, where babies are born at home, it is often forgotten. And a child without a birth certificate faces problems.

In Zimbabwe, children without a birth certificate cannot go to school, take exams, apply for an ID card, vote, travel, nor access many other basic essential services.

You can buy a Birth certificate World Gift so that a child can go to school

I’ve worked in fundraising for years and am always eager to hear about how donations help. Katy, who recently travelled to Zimbabwe on a gap year trip with CAFOD, told me about the terrible and long-lasting impact of growing up without a birth certificate.

Katy said, “Children around the world continue to grow up without the basic human right of an identity.”

This startling comment gripped me.

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10 simple, kind ideas on the International Day of Kindness

When were you last kind to someone? Did you make a loved one breakfast this morning or give your colleague a cheery greeting when you arrived at work?

Therese, who works in our fundraising team at CAFOD has been reflecting on kindness and how to spread more of it through out the world.

“On the international day of kindness, here are 10 simple ideas for you to carry out, to put some more kindness back into the world:

CAFOD World Gifts are kindness in action

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Honour a loved one by donating in their memory

Roisin Beirne, CAFOD’s Candlelight Fund Officer, shares a little about two special women who have been honoured by a donation to CAFOD in their memory.

During November, the month of Remembrance, the Church encourages us to come together and reflect on all those who have died yet continue to touch our lives.

As the Candlelight Funds Officer here at CAFOD, I offer support to those who have lost a loved one and are looking for a way to honour them through CAFOD’s work. Some families set up a Candlelight Fund. This is a special fund in memory of a loved one who has died, where all donations in their name are combined to make a life-changing difference to the world’s poorest communities. It truly does celebrate a life while touching the lives of thousands more.

Donate in memory of a loved one

Many have told me how much comfort they gain from knowing that good is being done in their loved one’s name. As a way of saying thank you for the incredible strength and kindness these families show, I’d like to share a little about two women who have been remembered in this way.

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Step into the Gap: Tackling hunger one bowl at a time

Caroline Collins is a Step into the Gap volunteer at Newman University in Birmingham. This week she is getting ready for Family Fast Day.

At Newman University we have been preparing to swap our usual Friday lunch boxes for a simple soup lunch.

CAFOD gap year volunteers 2018/2019
Caroline

For so many of our brothers and sisters around the world, the harvest determines whether their families will go to bed hungry tonight.

For Lilian in Zambia, a good harvest is so important.  It means she can feed herself and her family in the coming months, and sell any extra food to buy school clothes, books and materials to build a home.

Donate to CAFOD’s Fast Day appeal

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Your harvest donations will make a lasting difference

CAFOD’s World News Manager, Nana Anto-Awuakye explains how your donations for Family Fast Day will instill hope into those that see eating as a luxury.

On Sunday 23 September, pottering about in the kitchen, my constant companion – the radio – informs me that this very day is the autumn equinox, when day and night meet as equals, the official start of autumn.

I glance out through the kitchen window onto my garden, and see that the leaves are already falling, and turning their magnificent autumn yellows, browns and berry colours.

Host a Family Fast Day simple meal

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Why are young people at the heart of what we do?

Chris Knowles works in our education team. In this blog he explains why young leadership is essential to CAFOD’s work.

Our new Hands On project in Colombia has young leadership at its heart because young people are not just the future of our world, but as Rosana, involved in the project in Colombia says;

“We have a responsibility towards our country, we are the present”. Rosana

Read about our latest Hands On project

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Reflections on the Zimbabwe election

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!

Trees in Zimbabwe covered in election posters
Trees in Zimbabwe covered in election posters

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).

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How reading about honey gave me a sweet fundraising idea

Runa volunteers for CAFOD. She tells us why a CAFOD beekeeping project inspired her to want to fund raise.

I recently helped my niece and nephew bake a honey cake for a bake-off challenge for their charity school fair.  A lot of families attended the event  and  it was a real success. It is great to see supporters looking to have a party-like experience while raising some money, although our cake wasn’t the winning cake (I am still sad about that). I believe creating a fun atmosphere is the key in raising money for CAFOD this summer.

Get ideas from CAFOD’s A-Z of fundraising

Beekeeping project

A training workshop in caring for bees. 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  beekeeping project.

I was inspired by reading about CAFOD’s overseas projects, and I came across the story of Bharoti. Bharoti lives in a village in Bangladesh with her husband. They are poor parents that led a very hard life and struggled to pay for the basics. CAFOD’s beekeeping project gave Bharoti an alternative way to earn money. The project provides training on bee cultivation and advanced bee keeping techniques. They learn about proper nursing, feeding, treatment, and how to make a new queen cell to grow the bee colony.  It is great to hear Bharoti is now an expert on advanced bee keeping technologies, and she also provides technical support to others in the community.

Stories like Bharoti’s prove how beneficial raising money is to families that need support. CAFOD Beekeeping projects provide an income and can create business opportunities.

The project is a source of hope for women where paid work is hard to come by and working with bees has helped build confidence and self-esteem within their communities. That’s surely motivation to want to do fund raise this summer.

Do you feel inspired by CAFOD Beekeeping project and want to show your support? Organise a fundraising event

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Get the most out of your Lent donation

Thank you to everyone who has donated to the Lent Appeal. Your gifts will change lives around the world. And if you donated between 13 February and 12 May, the UK Government will double your donation, giving twice the number of children the opportunity to grow up healthy and strong. Match funding for the appeal has now ended but you can still donate

Runa Begum is a volunteer in CAFOD’s digital team. She tells us why she was so impressed by the opportunity to have your donation doubled this lent, and by CAFOD supporters who continue to donate generously.

For the last few years I have been thinking more about donating with maximum impact – giving so my money goes further to needy causes. I often research the projects charities fund to see how far my pound can go. I think a lot of other people are feeling similar – we want our charitable donations to go as far as possible and to do as much good as possible.

Money raised for CAFOD’s Family Fast Day appeal this Lent will definitely do as much good as possible. Donations will be match funded by the UK Government which means your donation will be doubled, at no extra cost to you. More importantly, it means your gift will have double the impact in communities in Zimbabwe, Eritrea and around the world.

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What Giving up ‘Bad language’ for Lent is teaching me

Blogger Amy has taken up the challenge of giving up ‘Bad words’ this Lent. She tells us how she is getting on and what this challenge is teaching her.

I have now done just over four weeks of my Lent challenge and I have been surprised and amazed each day by my journey so far. I am so humbled by how God has met me in this time.  Each week I have learned something new and been pointed in a new direction. Even in the difficult moments it has still been a joy to experience. I love the fact that God is graciously taking the time to change me.  Change is hard and discipline is even harder. However, I truly think that when God disciplines us this is an expression of love and affection.

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