Join us for an online talk about life in El Salvador

Last year, a group of CAFOD volunteers and local representatives went to El Salvador. In this online talk, they will share their incredible experiences.

El Salvador is a country with a turbulent history: Despite the civil war in the country ending in January 1992, poverty, high unemployment and gang violence still make life very difficult, especially for women and young people.

Farming communities are struggling to grow their crops on poor land.

Climate change is causing more extreme weather in El Salvador with floods, droughts and tropical storms becoming more frequent.

 

CAFOD has worked with local partners and communities in El Salvador since 1974.

We are inspired by Saint Oscar Romero and his insistence on the need for peace, justice, equality and respect for human rights.

 

In El Salvador, our projects focus on agriculture, promoting a culture of peace and justice, and empowering women.

Please join us on Tuesday 28 July at 11 am-12 noon with the priests and volunteers who visited El Salvador, to learn more about the rich history and our work in the country today.

Register to join us.

 

It’s not too late to join us today at 6 pm for our Eucharistic celebration

Abbé Michel Kabongenaje leads mass in the Ebola-hit town of Mambasa, DRC. The Abbé frquently preaches about the dangers of Ebola to his congregation.

As churches across the country begin to slowly reopen, we wanted to organise an online service to allow our CAFOD community from around the country and world to come together to celebrate mass.

On Wednesday 22 July, at 6 pm, we will join in solidarity and prayer to celebrate a live-streamed Mass.

The event is open to communities across the UK, as well as to CAFOD partners and communities around the world.

Jo Kitterick, CAFOD’s Head of Fundraising and Participation, said:

“Online sessions give families, friends and volunteers an opportunity to celebrate their faith in a way that is familiar at a time when we are being challenged and asked to do things so differently.

“During these tough times, it is so wonderful to be able to reach out to each other and to those who are feeling physically distant from the ones they love and their traditional places of worship – and virtually come together as a community and Catholic family.”

It is hoped that the online Mass will be an opportunity for us to come together in prayer, joined by communities and partners from across the world.

Please register to join us.

DEC Coronavirus appeal raises £10 million in first week – helping charities like CAFOD to respond as first cases reported in Northern Syria

This week, thanks to the generosity of the UK public, the Disasters Emergency Committee – of which CAFOD is a member – Coronavirus Appeal has raised an incredible £10 million to help those living in the most fragile states.

The DEC Coronavirus Appeal will help the most vulnerable people in six of the world’s most fragile states: Yemen and Syria; Somalia, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo; and Afghanistan.

Donate now

In Syria, our local partners on the ground are reporting urgent concerns about the risks of the virus spreading, as vulnerable people are unable to take the basic measures to protect themselves.

Mustafa, 28, a frontline worker supported by CAFOD, lives in a camp outside Idlib with displaced people.

He explained how they are preparing for what he calls ‘an explosion of coronavirus’ in the camps. He said:

“My heart is beating so hard; we are expecting an explosion of coronavirus in the camps.

The coming days are really critical for us.

“Doctors are preparing for the spread of the virus. People live in large overcrowded settlements in tents with maybe 12 people and no access to clean water. It will be a catastrophe. Disaster. Please help them.”

Donate to the DEC Coronavirus Appeal now

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The role of faith-based charities in time of pandemic

The DEC’s faith-based charities: CAFOD, Christian Aid, Islamic Relief, Tearfund and World Vision – can play an essential role not only in terms of community outreach and messaging relevant to prevention ( i.e. in promoting safe spacing precautions and essential behavioural change), but also in terms of dealing with the mental impact and long term effects of pandemics.

Faith leaders have potential for awareness raising in a way that is more trusted by local communities, complementing and reinforcing the work of national authorities and the global public health and humanitarian response.

Faith communities often play a vital role in helping the most vulnerable to have access to soap, water, hygiene kits (which contain a bowl, soap, shampoo, sanitary pads and toothbrushes, among other essential items) and can mobilise the wider community to counteract the stigma of quarantine and sickness, and to support families in isolation.

In order to continue protecting and improving the lives of those in poor communities, your gifts are needed now more than ever. Your essential support will help families survive.

Please support this urgent appeal, if you can.

And keep our global family in your prayers. 

£6 can buy a hygiene package for a vulnerable family containing soap, washing powder and reusable face masks

£33 can give a religious leader information about Coronavirus, which they can share with their community.

£260 can write, edit and broadcast a 30-second radio advert sharing news about Coronavirus with isolated communities.

Click below to see the latest DEC Coronavirus appeal message, featuring Mustafa, a local water expert, supported by CAFOD in Syria.

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How does the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) help CAFOD scale up?

Matthew Carter, Head of Humanitarian Programmes at CAFOD with Pope Francis

Join us tomorrow morning – Thursday 16 July at 10:30 am  – to join Matthew Carter, Head of Humanitarian Programmes and Damian Conlin, Head of Supporter Fundraising at CAFOD – in conversation.

They will  be giving us the inside story on how the Disasters Emergency Committee’s (DEC) Coronavirus Appeal helps CAFOD scale up protection for people who have lost everything in countries like Syria, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo…

Register to attend with your name and email address using the following link below on your phone, tablet or computer. 

https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/3803459618244039949

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Sarah’s Stars

Sarah O’Kane is a star volunteer for CAFOD in her wonderful parish, Our Lady Star of the Sea, Mumbles, Swansea and a school volunteer in her local schools.

Sarah volunteered with our dear friend Sue Philippart, who tragically died in March. But Sue continues to be her inspiration.  And now Sarah is crocheting Stars for CAFOD.

We all miss Sue dreadfully, but I think, well I know, that Sue would absolutely love and support Sarah’s efforts and commitment to build a Summer of Hope.

Sarah says she is passionate about CAFOD’s work because of its sustainability.

We work in partnership with our local experts, whether priest, midwife or water engineer. They understand what people need as they are part of the community.

At this difficult time, as you can imagine, CAFOD is working very hard to support ongoing essential projects as well as re-purposing grants in communities that are coping with the devastating effects of the Coronavirus.

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Virtual Pilgrimage to Holy Island with our friends in the North – it’s not too late to join in for a few days…

With the help of parishioners from across the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle, CAFOD (@CAFODHN)  is on “virtual” pilgrimage to Holy Island (1-11 July).

The virtual pilgrimage will feature daily reflection and prayer, stories from past pilgrims and will end with a special Mass at 3.00 pm on Saturday 11 July 2020.

For more information visit CAFOD Hexham & Newcastle’s

There’s still time to journey with our friends as they discover the Holy Island of Lindisfarne, through reflections, memories, photographs and prayer.

In the footsteps of saints and in the spirit of CAFOD, get involved. 👇

cafodhexhamnewcastle.wordpress.com 

Pilgrims (from above)

A prayer for refugees and migrants, especially the Rohingya

Merciful God,

We place into your care all the refugees and migrants, especially the Rohingya.

God who hurts with humanity, we lift up our voices and pour out our hearts to You,

in sadness and grief, for those who don’t have anyone to hear their suffering and pain,

for those who don’t have anyone to love and care,

for those who don’t have anyone to tell their stories

and especially for those who have been suffering due to this pandemic

and struggling with Coronavirus to see another day in their life.

We pray for the refugees who have fled for their lives,

facing various limitations in many congested camps

and suffering from many contaminated disasters

for the unhealthy and unhygienic atmosphere of the camps,

and fighting for survival with COVID-19.

We pray for their courage of heart and strength of mind and body.

Keep them safe from harm.

Amen

Inmanuel Chayan Biswas, Communications Officer for Caritas Bangladesh in Cox’s Bazar

.Caritas Bangladesh

 

“Stay home, stay safe!” But what if your home isn’t safe? The reality for thousands of Syrians…

Apologies for the lateness of this post, but yesterday evening (Tuesday 7 July between 7 and 8 pm), we held a special online talk about what it is like to live with Coronavirus in Syria and the surrounding countries.  Listen to the recording here.

Here in the UK, we are so used to hearing the message ‘stay home, stay safe’, but what if your home isn’t safe?’

This is reality for thousands of Syrians who were forced to flee their homes because of war and violence and are now displaced within their own country or are living as refugees in neighbouring countries.

In Syria, there is real worry for people living in camps where overcrowding makes social distancing almost impossible and where the remaining healthcare facilities are extremely fragile. The extensive community networks of the Church in Syria mean that it is well placed to provide aid in some of the worst-hit and most inaccessible areas of the country.

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CAFOD’s response to Coronavirus in Asia and the Middle East

Awareness raising in Cox’s Bazaar Photo credit: Ginea/Caritas Bangladesh

In the Middle East, our local experts are using your donations to continue their vital peacebuilding work and ensuring that legal advice can be given online.

Volunteers and priests are delivering emergency food parcels to vulnerable families in the West Bank and we are also reaching out to Bedouin communities with health equipment and information.

£6 could buy a hygiene pack for a family

Staff and volunteers are also already in vulnerable communities:

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