My Lent Challenge: Going ‘tea’-total!

Tom, from CAFOD’s fundraising team, challenged himself to give up hot drinks for Lent. He tells us how he got on, and reflects on how the generosity of CAFOD supporters in the UK is helping people like those he met in Kenya.

CAFOD's Tom has his first cup of tea since the start of Lent
First brew and a slice of brack – Happy Easter!

This Lent, I took on a challenge very different to my usual no-sweet-things observance. In line with CAFOD’s aqua themed fundraising appeal, I decided to take up a water challenge and drink no hot drinks for 40 days and 40 nights.

There is still time to donate to CAFOD’s Lent appeal and help change lives

For some people this would be fairly straight forward. But I come from a long line of tea drinkers and would usually have at least 3 cups a day. A visit to my Nan’s is synonymous with having a brew, and if you were to turn one down you’d immediately be confronted with a “What’s wrong?!”

Continue reading “My Lent Challenge: Going ‘tea’-total!”

Hands On Kitui: Into the final weeks

As we enter the last few weeks of our project, everywhere we look we are greeted by signs of transformation. Our dam and wells are filling, people’s gardens and our community farm are starting to produce harvests, and the landscape is so much greener than just two years ago.

Continue reading “Hands On Kitui: Into the final weeks”

Hands On Kitui: Looking to the future

About Hands On: Hands On is a special series of CAFOD projects, that are funded directly by supporters. Hands On Kitui is our first project, and although this is coming to an end, our newest project community are in need of support.

Find out more and get involved

February 2016 Kitui update

While work is continuing on the main dam and the other final improvements, as we approach the end of our project we can’t help but think further into the future.

With this in mind, some of our next steps will be to prepare everyone here for the years ahead, to ensure our successes continue for generations.

We will be providing training for the local management committee on project management and team-building, and working with local primary schools to set up a conservation club.

If you’re looking for inspiration, reflection and prayers this Lent, our Lent calendar has daily updates for the whole season. Continue reading “Hands On Kitui: Looking to the future”

Hands On Kitui: Happy New Year to all our supporters

Hello and a very happy New Year from everyone in Kitui. The end of our two year project is just a few months away and so we are hard at work ensuring that our project here will be a great success.

Those of you who are sent Side by Side will have received your special DVD – for those of you who are not, Here is this personal message from everyone in Kitui.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7cgErVEeSg?rel=0&controls=0&showinfo=0&w=560&h=315]

If you’d like to send a message back, please leave one in the comments! Continue reading “Hands On Kitui: Happy New Year to all our supporters”

CAFOD corporate partner: cycling 180 miles for Kitui

Paul Bennett is Executive Chairman at CAFOD corporate partner b:ssec. Here he tells us about the huge challenge he and Wayne Ward, Managing Director of b:ssec, are taking on for CAFOD.

Paul and Wayne from b:ssec
Paul and Wayne from b:ssec training for their CAFOD Wessex Way bike ride

For three days in May 2016, Wayne and I will be taking our mountain bikes off road and cycling 180 miles in aid of CAFOD. The ‘Wessex Way’ ride takes us from Westbury in Wiltshire to Beachy Head in East Sussex, across rough terrain and through some really varied landscapes.

It’s a ride that has been on my bucket list for a while. Life is too short not to do what you love! Wayne was mad enough to join me on it – so great. What’s fantastic about this challenge is we will be having fun, reducing the middle age spread and raising money for CAFOD. Any sponsorship that we receive will go towards supporting vulnerable farmers in Kitui, Kenya, to grow enough food, access clean water and engage with the local government on the issues that prevent them from earning a living.

Please sponsor us via JustGiving

CAFOD is helping farming families in Kitui to plant seeds and to terrace their farms, re-sculpting the landscape to keep rainwater where it is needed and stop topsoil from being washed away during the rainy season. So that crops flourish, the farmers are being supplied with solar-powered drip irrigation kits and sand dams to collect rainwater. We are proud to be involved in making this important work happen.  Continue reading “CAFOD corporate partner: cycling 180 miles for Kitui”

Hands On Kitui: Signs of success

Hands On Kitui is the first of our special series of projects that allows donors to give monthly and directly support a particular community. Find out how you can help the community of Altiplano in Bolivia.

Work continues at great pace as we hurry to get the Musosya dam ready for the coming rains. One fantastic piece of news is that our reservoir is now holding water, which had been in the ground following the previous rains. This means that even during dry periods the community here is able to access clean water for their households – a wonderful achievement.

We would also be delighted to take this time to wish you a happy and peaceful Christmas. Please do keep Kitui in your thoughts at this joyous time, we have made so much progress thanks to your kindness.

Our beautiful Advent calendar provides space every day to reflect and pray.

Progress and project highlights this month

 

Did you know?

Gabions are wire cages filled with rocks, which sit across tributaries to the reservoir. When it rains, they will reduce the speed of the streams and will trap silt, stopping it running into the reservoir itself.

Hands On Kitui: the final countdown

We are now approaching the final stretch of our exciting project here in Kitui, progress has been fantastic up to this point and work is now firmly focused on the main Musosya dam.

We need to clear all of the silt and debris from the reservoir before any more rains come – it’s a real race against time and everyone is working harder than ever to ensure we are ready in time.

Once the Musosya dam is complete we will begin to see a truly transformed Kitui, and it wouldn’t be happening without your kind support – thanks you so much, please do keep us in your thoughts and prayers.

P.S. If you’re looking for ethical Christmas presents, our range of great World Gifts transform the lives of people living in poverty, as well as giving your loved one a beautiful card to open on Christmas morning.

Progress and project highlights this month

Did you know?

Our new community farm will produce kale, spinach, tomatoes, coriander and onions. We’re building a strong fence around it to keep goats and other animals out!

Hands On: Small things that make a big difference

After the sand and check dams came through the rains in good shape, and with the fifth sand dam almost complete, we’ve been looking at some additional work which may be possible here in Kitui, and have decided to build some off-take wells. These are connected to the sand dams – water flows out of the dam and into the well, which is easier to use for collecting water.
Continue reading “Hands On: Small things that make a big difference”

Hands On Kitui: A testing time for the dams

About the project: Hands On is CAFOD’s special series of projects that allow individuals to donate to a specific project. Our project in Kitui has been running for over a year and is seeing some great results. Our latest project is in need of donations – find out how you can help the community of Altiplano in Bolivia.

With four sand dams and many dozens of check dams completed, and work continuing on a fifth sand dam and the main Musosya dam, the first big test arrived in the form of a short rainy period.

This would really show whether the work done so far would produce the results we were all hoping for. Thankfully the answer has been a resounding yes! The check dams held firm, and the sand dams filled with water, which the community here in Kitui were able to put to use right away. Continue reading “Hands On Kitui: A testing time for the dams”

Hands On Kitui: Off to market

With all the talk of sand dams, check dams, tree planting and zai pits since our project started here in Kitui, you may be surprised to hear about the focus of one of the most recent training sessions held with our community: marketing!

A guest speaker from the Ministry of Agriculture came to talk to Kitui’s farmers about the best ways to sell their produce, and about the benefits of working as a collective when going to market. This kind of practical advice will ensure that the communities’ increased harvests bear even greater fruit.

Nicholas has sent us a summary of all the progress in the project so far: take a look at everything you’ve achieved.

Progress and project highlights this month

Did you know?

With their new training, the farmers of Kitui are planning to sell their vegetables as far afield as the capital, Nairobi.

 

Want to get Hands On too? Our Kitui project is no longer in need of new donors, but a project helping a community in Bolivia is just starting. You can join them – find out how you can help the community of Altiplano.