Give the gift of hope this Advent

Christmas is a time for giving back and for remembering those who are struggling with poverty this winter.  This Christmas, give the gift of hope with some of our World Gifts. Support one of our Christmas events in person or online or, even better, plan your own! There’s no end to the number of ways that you can make a difference this Christmas.

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Parishes step up to Fix the Food System

A group posing with the 7 stations literature
A group in Enfield taking the 7 stations on a lovely evening walk.

We are, as St John Paul II said, suffering a ‘paradox of abundance;’ we need 3.7 billion tonnes a year to feed everyone, and we produce more than 4 billion. Yet every day, one in ten, or 800 million people, go hungry. This summer, CAFOD has been asking Catholics to come together and look at the fundamental issues afflicting our food system.

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Listen to a voice from the rainforest

Cecilia Iorio, CAFOD’s Brazil Country Representative, warmly invites you to the Science and Industry Museum in Manchester to hear first-hand from indigenous leader and activist Mauricio Ye’kuana, who together with his people fights to protect the Brazilian Amazon rainforest from illegal invaders for us all. The event is taking place on 11 June from 2pm.

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Run, walk or toddle for CAFOD this Christmas

CAFOD’s Neil Roper remembers last year’s virtual fun run, while looking forward to this year’s virtual run and the return of the Liverpool and Bollington fun runs – inviting you, your family and friends to get involved this year.

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What precious items have helped you through lockdown?

The global coronavirus pandemic is a defining moment for our generation. Some will remember the race to buy tins of beans and toilets rolls, the panic and fear – others will remember small acts of kindness, a loving community spirit, and the special items they treasured in lockdown.

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Liverpool parish priest’s 24-hour fast ahead of the G7

Parish priest Father Denis Blackledge has hosted a 24-hour fast in his parish St Francis Xavier in Liverpool ahead of the G7 summit, which takes place in Cornwall from 11-13 June.

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Running off Christmas with CAFOD

CAFOD supporters from all over England and Wales braved the cold to take part in our virtual national fun run over Christmas, raising almost £20,000 so far. Ciara Hogan, our Community Participation Coordinator in the Shrewsbury diocese, looks back on the event.

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One Climate, One World: CAFOD speaker from Zimbabwe tours England and Wales

CAFOD partners provide clean water in Zimbabwe using solar energy
Solar energy helps provide clean water in Zimbabwe

In July, Takura Gwatinyanya, from CAFOD partner Caritas Harare, will be travelling across England and Wales to share his passion for tackling poverty and to show how your support is making a difference in Zimbabwe.

Meet Takura and discover more about CAFOD’s climate and energy campaign at a series of special events, starting in London on Wednesday 6 July.

Book your place now >

We caught up with Takura to ask his about his family, his work and what keeps him motivated.

Tell us a little bit about your family.

I am married to Rutendo Avriel, and we have one five-year-old son.

You’re an expert in water and sanitation. What makes you passionate about this area?

My experience in sanitation and humanitarian work has shown me that access to water and sanitation is a fundamental human right. It bring human dignity, with immediate and evidenced results. The need for decent water and sanitation cuts across all ages and all backgrounds, it doesn’t matter whether you are rich or poor.

Pumps run on solar power are helping people in the communities where I work to access clean water and are reducing the time it takes people to collect water.

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Why I volunteer: running in memory of my dad

Ben McMullen is the Deputy Head of All Hallows Catholic High School in Preston. In April he ran the 2016 Virgin London Marathon for CAFOD in memory of his father, Vin McMullen. Just before the marathon, he spoke to Jade Till of CAFOD’s media team, about the inspiration from his father and the course that CAFOD continues to run through his life.

Ben McMullen, CAFOD volunteer and deputy head of All Hallows Catholic High School, Preston
Ben McMullen, deputy head of All Hallows Catholic High School, Preston

CAFOD’s been a part of my life since I was 10 years old. My dad, Vin McMullen, worked for CAFOD for 16 years, from 1981 – 1997.  He was the very first regional organiser outside of London.  His area was originally the north of England, and then eventually covered Salford, Shrewsbury, Liverpool, and Lancaster dioceses.

A gift to CAFOD in memory of a loved one could change someone’s life forever

Vin McMullen (centre) with Julian Filochowski (left) and others at the first Liverpool Fun Run in 1984
Vin McMullen (centre) with Julian Filochowski (left) and others at the first Liverpool Fun Run in 1984

Eventually every diocese had a regional organiser so he covered Liverpool.  All through my teenage years I volunteered.  My dad was the one who set up the Christmas Fun Run in Liverpool in 1984, which still goes on.

My dad was away a lot, and when he came back, all of the photographs and video clips really raised my awareness of how other people have to live.  He was particularly involved with the Philippines.  He wrote a book which the geography department at my school still uses.

CAFOD’s changed a lot from those days and it’s grown enormously now. Continue reading “Why I volunteer: running in memory of my dad”

Refugees: Young people’s messages to Parliament

Tom HallsworthTom Hallsworth works with Animate Youth Ministries in St Helen’s in the Liverpool Archdiocese, leading retreat days with young people aged 11-25 to inspire them to live out the Gospel and social justice. He’s part of the CAFOD ambassador scheme, connecting CAFOD with youth centres across the country.  

I’ve been working hard to help young people to understand the refugee crisis, and see what we can do to help. I organised a session in my church where we started with an icebreaker on refugee statistics and also had interactive prayer stations to help people to reflect and think about refugees.

The young people found it really striking that more than half of refugees worldwide are under 18 years old. It got us thinking about what it would be like to be in their shoes. My friend told me she was shocked that so many refugees are young, are unaccompanied children, why can’t they sort it out? It’s such a huge problem, there are just so many.

Then we used CAFOD’s Lampedusa cross action cards to write our own messages of hope for refugees. I’ve collected hundreds of these messages, and the numbers are still growing.

Send your message of hope to refugees and migrants Continue reading “Refugees: Young people’s messages to Parliament”