Friday marked CAFOD’s Lent Fast Day, a tradition that started in the 1960s and for which support has continued to grow. I, like many others, used the Fast Day as a time of reflection, and fundraising to help those in need.
This year the Lent appeal is focused on providing clean and safe water across the world. Yet, the work goes further than simply providing the means to get water. It also involves education about sanitation and practical training meaning that if the water pumps need maintaining, they will have the knowledge to fix the problem themselves.
Furthermore, fundraising for the Lent appeal has been awarded match funding, up to the value of £3.5 million, meaning that every pound raised is doubled.
Parishes all over South Wales have been getting involved in the Lent appeal:
On Friday, Parishioners from Our Lady Star of the Sea Parish in Porthcawl held a Lenten Lunch as part of this year’s CAFOD Lent fundraising campaign.
CAFOD representative for Porthcawl, Helen McSherry said:
“It was great seeing so many people gathering together to raise money and awareness of CAFOD. We’re really grateful to Jenny Worthington and her husband David for organising it. Not only did we warm up on a cold day with some delicious soup, we also learnt how the money will change lives by providing clean water and some top tips for what we can do every day to help protect the environment.”
During the lunch, Kieran O’ Brian from CAFOD talked about Laudato Si’.
“Kieran demonstrated how the poorest people in our planet are suffering the most because of climate change. People were shocked by statistics such as 650 million people living without access to clean water.
“The group spoke about recycling, but also living simply and going against the grain of our ‘throw away’ culture. People made a contribution to CAFOD for their lovely soup and all in all it was a thoroughly enjoyable and successful Lenten lunch.”
The money raised will enable the taps to be turned on in villages around the world by repairing or providing water pumps and training in order to maintain them. It will also fund hygiene programmes, education in sanitation and the building of latrines. Matched funds from the UK Government will enable access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene programmes to over 300,000 people in Uganda, Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Donate to the Lent Appeal at cafod.org.uk/lent