International Women’s Day: Celebrate, Reflect, Act


Money raised for CAFOD's Lent appeal can help girls like Proscovia have access to clean water and go to school (David Mutua,

Proscovia in Uganda who now dreams of becoming an engineer. 

Last Sunday marked Mother’s day; today marks International Women’s Day. Both are time for celebration and reflection. I talked to Kieran O’Brien CAFOD representative in South Wales, to ask him about how the Lent appeal is going to change women’s lives all over the world.


Since 1911, International Women’s Day has become a worldwide celebration where we are called to reflect on progress made, celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women but also, call for further change.

Find out more about International Women’s Day

It is estimated that women and girls around the world spend 125 million hours a day collecting water, which means time away from work, school or playing with friends. This year, CAFOD’s Lent Appeal is focused on giving over 300,000 people access to clean and safe water. Furthermore, every pound raised will be matched by the UK Government’s Department for International Development up until May.


The Lent appeal has been awarded match funding.

Kieran O’Brien CAFOD representative in South Wales said:

“I think that for International Women’s Day that it is a good opportunity to think it is important to reflect on mother’s around the world. I recall visiting a CAFOD HIV and AIDS project in Arusha, Tanzania that was helping to support HIV positive people in the community. The room was full of women, with the exception of one man, who all got up and introduced themselves.

“One by one all the women introduced themselves to me and shared their story, which all had a sad common theme – pretty much all of their husband’s had abandoned them on discovery of their HIV status. Despite most not being able to work due to their health, they were all determined to safeguard the future for their children. It is meeting these incredible women, who despite their personal suffering and hardship, remained committed to caring and supporting their children with a renewed sense of hope thanks to the support from the CAFOD project.”

This year, the Lent appeal is going to help women like Teko Anna, a mother from Moroto in Uganda. The water pump in her village broke meaning she had no choice but to walk for miles every day to collect water.

Since CAFOD’s local partner has fixed the pump and trained villagers to maintain it, she has been freed from the burden of collecting water her daughter now has a chance to pursue her goal: to finish school and fulfil her dream of becoming an engineer.


Donate to the Lent Appeal at: 

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