By Vanessa Chang who works on creating gifts for the annual CAFOD World Gifts catalogue.
Felicity and Joe Isaacs bought World Gifts to celebrate their wedding (Photographer – Emma Boileau)
When planning your special day there are often lots of things you need to organise: a venue, food, invitations, music, THE dress… the list goes on. One couple from Lancashire however, added another more unusual item to their wedding to-do list – a CAFOD World Gifts Medical outreach team.
This summer, Felicity and Joe Isaacs invited guests to donate to World Gifts during their wedding reception. Generous guests raised over £500 which the happy couple put towards two medical outreach teams, funding medical professionals to bring essential healthcare to remote communities.
Felicity, a maths teacher at Cardinal Newman College, Preston, said:
“CAFOD is a charity we’ve been involved with for some time. I run a CAFOD Group at college which helps to fundraise and raise awareness of the causes of poverty.
“Joe and I thought it would be nice for the money people normally spend at a wedding to go to other people. My mum is a nurse at Royal Preston Hospital so we know the difference that medical care can make in people’s lives.”
The best gift money can buy
In part two of his video diary Adrian Chiles travels to La Natividad, a rural community in Guatemala.
Here he sees the CAFOD World Gift: Healthy mum and baby in action. He travels with an outreach team who support the mums and children of the parish with medical care, advice and nutritional supplements. Continue reading
Blue skies, pink hats and big hearts: “Simone would have delighted in the day!”
Many of us have lost a friend or a family member, and take the opportunity especially at this time of year to pray for them and to give thanks for the times we shared.
A number of our supporters have chosen to remember their loved ones by making a donation to CAFOD in their memory, or by setting up a Candlelight Fund – a special way to create a lasting tribute to someone who has died. Some of the funds are supported by friends and family, and others are a more private act of remembrance, but each of the funds stand as testament to the values of the deceased, and the life and love they shared.
About the author: Hannah Caldwell is CAFOD’s Candlelight Funds Officer. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone for a chat on 020 7095 5348.
Simone Johnson (nee Cave) is one special lady who is remembered by a Candlelight Fund, and this summer a fundraising swim was held in her memory at Hayling Island Sailing Club.
Around 80 of Simone’s friends and family gathered to pay tribute to Simone – swimming, paddling and sharing stories and memories.
“It was a lovely occasion, which Simone would have delighted in” says Simone’s mum Judy, who set up her Candlelight Fund.
Please donate to our Syria Crisis appeal>>
My husband and I fled to Lebanon eight months ago because of the war in Syria. I was heavily pregnant. My daughter Maya was born just a few days after we arrived.
My husband does whatever he can to earn money for us – painting, cleaning, taking any work that is available – but sometimes it is not enough.
Healthcare in Lebanon is very expensive, and without help from CAFOD’s partner Caritas Lebanon we couldn’t afford medicine for our baby. Caritas Lebanon have given us free medicine and consultations. I go to their health centre every month for vaccinations or whenever Maya is sick.
We hope Maya will do well in the future. We think she will create her own destiny.
And I hope we will all be able to go back home to Syria soon. Most of all I miss my family. My parents are still in Syria, and it’s been a year since I saw them.
Hama is one of more than 1.8 million Syrians who have fled the country to escape the war.
We are working with local partners in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey to provide food, shelter, medical supplies, clothes, blankets and counselling to those most in need.
Please donate to our Syria Crisis appeal>>
Mariam Abdullah Adam had no milk to breastfeed her 45-day-old baby because “we have no food in the house,” she says. [Laura Sheahen/Caritas]
Nawal, 27, was a little confused when people showed up at her thatched hut one day, asking about her baby daughter. “They measured her arm to see how thick it was,” she remembers.
One thing wasn’t confusing: the family was hungry. “At home we don’t have any food,” she says simply. Though her husband earns some money as a daily labourer, there isn’t enough for the four children. “One of our little sons was in school, but he had to drop out. Our situation is bad.”
Help us respond to emergencies like the one in Darfur>>
Nawal’s situation has been bad for almost a decade, ever since the day her home village in Darfur was attacked. Shot in the leg and hiding under a tree, she thought she would die that day.
With thousands of others, Nawal escaped to one of Sudan’s camps for displaced people. They were safer there, but could no longer earn a living by farming. Some camp residents do tasks like brickmaking, making enough money to buy the day’s kilo or two of grain. But many mothers are prevented by illness, danger, or bad luck from earning enough to feed their families, and watch helplessly as their children grow thinner. Continue reading