CAFOD overseas staff Moise and Kelechi met with Archbishop George Stack and the council of priests to share first-hand experience of CAFOD’s overseas work in the countries of Niger and Nigeria.
Moise and Kelichi (pictured above), CAFOD’s West African programme officers, took time out of their busy schedule in the UK to visit Wales and share the stories of their work with diocesan priests, the Archbishop and CAFOD volunteers. They spoke about the hard work they are both involved in, to help support communities to not only work sustainably but also how they can adapt and be more resilient to external shocks and threats such as the climate.
Moise, who shared his work on Niger, spoke of the difficulties of working in a country where the climate is mainly desert, where only 3.6% of the land is arable – available only to seasonal crops. Working with the challenges the communities face, Moise explained how CAFOD’s work is helping communities to care for creation and to find other sources of fuel, rather than cutting down precious trees for firewood which has helped the encouragement of the Sahara desert onto their land.
Kelechi, gave an overview of the differences in Nigeria where despite being Africa’s largest oil producer, Nigeria is not a rich country where great wealth and great poverty sit side by side. Tensions between Christian and Muslim communities in the north, he explained, still persist. And there is still a threat of violence from the militant group Boko Haram who seek to abolish the secular system of government and establish Sharia law in the country.
Meeting with the Archbishop and council of priests, there followed a mutual exchange of thoughts and reflections on CAFOD’s work, especially on how communities here in England and Wales can connect with CAFOD’s work overseas.
There followed a meeting with CAFOD volunteers, which was a chance to share not only the work with the overseas speakers, but for the volunteers to share what they are doing in their parishes so that Moise and Kelechi can share these stories with CAFOD partners and beneficiaries.
Kieran O’Brien, CAFOD’s coordinator for Wales, said:
“It was wonderful to have our two visitors visit Wales, who both gave a great first-hand insight to our overseas work, the challenges they face, and more importantly, the difference CAFOD is making to communities on the ground. The one thing that I took away from our long discussions and reflections, is that we are making a huge difference to people’s life in helping them to flourish despite the harsh and challenging environments that they live in.”