Meet some of CAFOD’s inspiring Candlelight families

Susanna Webb, CAFOD Candlelight Funds Officer, talks about some of the special families who remember a loved one with a Candlelight Fund

I’ve worked in CAFOD’s Legacy and Remembrance giving team for nearly 8 years and without a doubt the real privilege is hearing from so many families who are creating hope amidst their grief.

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Candlelight Funds are a way of paying tribute to someone special while also raising money for men, women and children living in poverty around the world. Over the course of the last 10 years, more than 600 people and families have decided to remember their loved one with gifts to CAFOD’s work.

Here you can read about how some of those families have paid tribute to their loved ones while also building a brighter future for our brothers and sisters around the world.

Find out more about CAFOD’s Candlelight Funds

Continue reading “Meet some of CAFOD’s inspiring Candlelight families”

Step into the Gap: Harvest fundraising at St Mary’s

Hannah, our gap year volunteer at St Mary’s Academy in Blackpool is getting ready for a Brighten Up event for Harvest. Here are her tips for a great fundraiser.

The Chaplaincy Team at St. Mary’s are Brightening Up for Harvest Fast Day this year with a handful of activities for students and staff to get involved in throughout the week. These include quizzes, fairground games and taste tests! The grande finale of the week will be a Staff Talent Show, taking place at lunchtime so that the students can buy tickets to see it.

Find resources to organise your own Harvest Fast Day fundraising

The staff at St. Mary’s are clearly a talented bunch, they’ll be showing off their breakdancing, singing, musical instruments and will even perform some drama! Our students are in for a treat as they’ll be Brightening Up their school uniform with colourful accessories and CAFOD wristbands.

Continue reading “Step into the Gap: Harvest fundraising at St Mary’s”

Harvest Fast Day: happy apthapi!

Looking for fundraising event ideas for Harvest Fast Day? Nikki Evans is CAFOD’s programme officer for Bolivia, and in this blog describes the Bolivian tradition of holding shared community picnics. 

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A Bolivian apthapi in the Andes.

In Bolivia, when Andean communities or families come together to share the food together, this is called an apthapi (pronounced “ap-tappy”).  The tradition of apthapi was born in the countryside in the Andes in Bolivia where people brought the food they had produced on their land and from their animals during the time of year when the food was in season.

At an apthapi organised by CAFOD partners, the women of the community arrive with a large brightly-coloured shawl filled with food to share. There are always potatoes, chuño (freeze dried black potatoes) and broad beans. Usually people bring a salsa with tomatoes and onions to enjoy with the food. Sometimes families have made cheese, boiled some eggs or cooked some fish if they live near Lake Titicaca – it depends on the food available.

Find resources to organise a Harvest Fast Day event in your parish.

Continue reading “Harvest Fast Day: happy apthapi!”

Great Generation: Faith in Action award

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Julia is making new year resolutions for September!

Julia from CAFOD’s Youth Team shares her news year’s resolution for the new academic year and shares how young people can do their CYMED Faith in Action Award volunteering with CAFOD.

“The times we live in do not call for young ‘couch potatoes’ but for young people with shoes, or better, boots laced.” Pope Francis, World Youth Day, 2016.

I’ve made a new year’s resolution… I need to go to World Youth Day! Even though by Panama 2019, I’ll be (just!) out of the age bracket, I’ll have to find a group to go with. I know I’ll make it one day!

Download CAFOD resources to support your CYMFED Faith in Action award

Each person I speak to who was in Krakow this year has something amazing to say: ‘Exhilarating’, ‘electric’, ‘joy-filled’. ‘The Pope said some really inspiring and challenging things’. ‘WYD’s about our relationship with Jesus and what we do about that. To be a couch potato or to be active.’

An amazing group of young adults went to WYD in Rio in 2013 with CAFOD – volunteers from the UK alongside CAFOD partners in Brazil including Marianne and Maristely.

You can’t help but feel the energy and inspiration.

Continue reading “Great Generation: Faith in Action award”

Spotlight on Brazil: the power of sport

Victoria Ahmed works in CAFOD’s Education Team.  She reflects on the transformative power of sport.

It has been a pretty amazing summer of sport so far. From cheering on the Wales football team to the semi-final match of the Euros, to celebrating Andy Murray’s Wimbledon championship win, I’ve been swept up in a summer of sport. So now I’m really looking forward to the biggest sporting event of the summer: the Olympics in Rio.

Find out more about our work in Brazil

As August rolls around I find myself recovering from an injury. With each warmer day I feel a little bit stronger, and I’ve been surprised at how much I’ve drawn inspiration and strength from athletes. Though not particularly sporty myself, I recognise the power of sport to transform – the drive, commitment and teamwork on display this summer has definitely helped me on the road to recovery.

Continue reading “Spotlight on Brazil: the power of sport”

Thank you from Kitui: “God knows that you have helped us”

As our Hands On Kitui journey comes to an end, three people who have worked on the project share their thanks. George Wambugu, CAFOD’s water specialist, worked on the water project right from the beginning during the planning stages.

George Wambugu, CAFOD's water specialist
George Wambugu, CAFOD’s water specialist

As a water expert, I know how vital it is to have access to water all year round – vital for the health and wellbeing not only of the people, but of the animals and plants. So I am immensely excited to be able to tell you that, after two years of hard work, the community in Kitui now have reliable access to clean water.

Looking to the coming years, I know that the great dam and the wells are going to provide water for the whole community, even in the dry seasons.

Thank you so much for all your donations, prayers and love over the past two years. We couldn’t have achieved this without you.

Donate to bring water to another community in Bolivia

Continue reading “Thank you from Kitui: “God knows that you have helped us””

Clean water is vital – How Mike from Liverpool brought water to a remote Kenyan community

A young boy washes his hands in Musosya, Kenya
Clean water is vital for good health and hygiene

Mike Gilligan from Liverpool Diocese is one of 1,700 Hands On supporters who were all inspired to fund a two-year water project in Kitui, Kenya. Hands On supporters in England and Wales followed the community’s progress in Kitui, and each month sent vital donations, encouragement and prayers.

Mike shares why Hands On is so special to him.

I first heard about Hands On through a flyer. It sounded like a very good idea, as the community were helping themselves and not relying on external organisations. It also gave me the opportunity to do my bit. I am helping someone, somewhere, in a place I can’t dream of seeing. Here in the UK we have an over-plentiful supply of water, but people in Kenya have such little water to work with. Clean water is vital – that’s why I signed up to help. Continue reading “Clean water is vital – How Mike from Liverpool brought water to a remote Kenyan community”

Letter from Stella in Kenya

Stella took part in our first Hands On project in Kitui, Kenya. Over two years, hundreds of people in Kitui were supported by more than 1,700 CAFOD supporters to rebuild their community dam and bring water back to the area. Having water nearby means families can irrigate their crops and don‘t have to spend hours walking to and from the river each day.

Stella winnows mung beans grown on her farm.
Thanks to your generous donations, Stella is able to irrigate her farm and grow food for her family.

Dear friends,

I am very grateful to you for giving donations and enabling us to carry out this project.

The project has meant I am able to get a job and manage a small income. With my income I am able to buy seeds for my farm and cement so I can build a strong house. Before there was such a challenge with food that I had to divert all my energy and resources to food.

Hear Stella describe what life was like in her community

Thanks to the Hands On project activities, even at this time of year before the rains have come, we have food stored. I am able to harvest enough and still have surplus to sell so I can pay for my kids to go to school. Last term I sold beans to the school in exchange for school fees. Continue reading “Letter from Stella in Kenya”

Connect2: Ethiopia: Standing with Sebeya

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Maggie Guy is a CAFOD volunteer from Birmingham diocese. Here she tells us how her parish has been fundraising for the Connect2: Ethiopia scheme.

Our Parish of Corpus Christi in Headington (Oxford) and Our Lady of Lourdes in Wheatley started supporting the community of Sebeya in Ethiopia in 2015. The project has really captured the enthusiasm of the parish and so far we have raised over £3,000.

Sign your parish up to Connect2: Ethiopia

We have raised money through a variety of activities: In April we had an Ethiopian evening where we enjoyed some delicious Ethiopian food, held a traditional coffee ceremony and had an illustrated talk from Tony Fitzgerald, a parishioner from our previous Parish in Camberley, who had visited the area. His pictures of a completed irrigation project in nearby Biera, supported by CAFOD Connect2, were profoundly moving; we could see a green valley, in marked contrast to the surrounding arid region, which should help protect the community from drought.  Continue reading “Connect2: Ethiopia: Standing with Sebeya”

Ethiopia Food Crisis: Drought seeps into every part of people’s lives

CAFOD’s World News Manager, Nana Anto-Awuakye has returned from Ethiopia where 10 million people currently face extreme hunger. She visited CAFOD’s partners in the northeast of the country to see how they are trying to tackle the devastating effects of the worst drought the country has seen in 30 years.

CAFOD Ethiopia Food Crisis appeal - Baraki with cow
CAFOD is appealing for urgent funds for Ethiopia to respond to the devastating food shortage.

It’s time to shout about what is happening to the people of Ethiopia. The crisis they face right now may not have featured in much of our press, but lives depend on us making a noise about it now.

Donate to CAFOD’s Ethiopia Food Crisis Appeal

The drought, which has left 10 million hungry and 1.5 million young children, pregnant and breastfeeding mothers in need of food supplements, has been caused by an El Niño weather pattern. The UN’s World Meteorological Organisation warned last November that the current El Niño is the strongest in more than 15 years and will cause severe droughts and devastating flooding throughout the tropics and sub-tropical zones of the planet. Continue reading “Ethiopia Food Crisis: Drought seeps into every part of people’s lives”