CAFOD in a rapidly changing world

Geoff O’Donoghue, CAFOD’s Director of Operations, visited Our Lady, Star of the Sea in Mumbles to speak to supporters and parishioners about CAFOD’s work and new ambition “No One Beyond Reach.”

Following an opening reflection: “Love Never Fails”, Father Michael Akpoghiran, who has recently taken over at OLSS from Father Mansel Usher, welcomed CAFOD to the parish.  Fr Michael said he was very impressed with the passion and enthusiasm that the parishioners had for supporting our work around the world.  They are marvellous ambassadors for CAFOD and we are hugely appreciative of the commitment and efforts.

Geoff recapped on the starting point for CAFOD’s and our core values:  the dignity of the human person; the fundamental equality of women and men: our responsibility for one another as a global family; and our stewardship of creation.

” I urgently appeal…. for a new dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet”  Laudato Si’ #14

Because as Pope Francis says:in Laudato Si’

“living our vocation to be protectors of God’s handiwork is not an optional… aspect of our Christian experience”, but it is essential to our mission and work.”

CAFOD works in partnership.  We are part of one of the largest aid networks in the world (Caritas).  Because of our global reach and local presence, together we have the potential to reach everyone.

We have the potential to reach so many people because we are a member of a global Church network with a presence in 165 countries. The local Church is trusted even in the most dangerous countries, regions and communities regardless of religion. This means that your support will help those who are truly in need.

Our local partners, our local experts help some of the most difficult-to-reach people in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.  Whether it is a single mother living in a remote area, a teenage boy living in a war zone, or a disabled father and daughter who are discriminated against, we help anyone regardless of faith, gender and ethnicity.

Through a local priest, a midwife or a water engineer – our global reach is present in the lived experience of local communities. These skilled women and men understand what people need because they are part of the communities they work in. Their commitment, passion and knowledge reach people other organisations can’t.

Our supporters are the foundation and heart of CAFOD.  The personal face of CAFOD nurturing relationships in parishes and schools.  We are a diverse community with a vision for a world transformed. Transformation comes with Church, State, Business and Civil society all working together.

We have made significant progress…

  • Child Mortality halved: (from 90 to 43 in 1,000)
  • No Primary education down from 36% in 1970 to 14% in 2015
  • Access to secondary education has increased from 36% in 1970 to 58% in 2015
  • The number of undernourished people has halved from 23.3% to 12.9%
  • People living in Extreme Poverty is down from 1.8 billion to 836 million
  • Sustainable development Goals (watch our video) were introduced in January 2016 building on the success of the Millennium Development Goals and including new areas such as climate change,economic inequality, innovation, sustainable consumption, peace and justice.  These Global Goals are a a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.     The goals are interconnected – the success in one will often involve tackling issues more commonly associated with another one.  Watch our video.  See our factsheet.
  • Paris agreement – end fossil fuel target.  To avoid the worst affects of climate change, we must limit global temperature rise to 1.5C.  Going above 1.5C warming could multiply hunger, migration and conflict.  To avoid this we need the UK to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to “net zero” by 2045.  This will mean that Britain no longer contributes to climate change.   See CAFOD’s climate change factsheet. and some Frequently Asked Questions on climate change.

Geoff shared some of his experience of working with our partners – they were moving and humbling and inspirational.    CAFOD is a part of Church and embedded in our parish communities.  We are intergenerational and each one of us possesses different charisms. 

(A charism is any good gift that flows from God’s love to humans. It’s a theological term for the extraordinary graces given to individual Christians for the good of others).

CAFOD’s new ambition is No One Beyond Reach:  a renewed commitment to the poorest people in our human family around the world. We believe that no one should be beyond the reach of the love and support they need to thrive. Through our global Church family, we have the ability to reach so many more of those who need our help. Currently however, we have to turn away 1 in 3 requests as we simply don’t have enough money to go round.  Watch our new film here.

The CAFOD group provided a wonderful soup lunch and fantastic cake to round off an inspirational couple of hours.  Thank you once again to everyone at Our Lady, Star of the Sea in Mumbles for such a warm welcome.

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