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.
Joe, a volunteer from the CAFOD Birmingham team shares some inspiration from the St Osburg’s parish in Coventry on running a soup-erb lunch for Family Fast Day.
With Lent rapidly approaching, our thoughts will be turning to what we might give up, but, even more importantly, how we and our communities might give. Well, if we’re looking for inspiration, the people of St Osburg’s parish in Coventry provide a wonderful example.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.