Prayer for the people of Beirut

Light of new hope

God of refuge,
hear our prayer
as we hold the people of Beirut
in our hearts at this time.
Fill us with compassion
and move us to reach out in love.

In your mercy,
bring comfort to those who mourn,
healing to those who are injured,
shelter to those who are homeless
sustenance to those who hunger.

Give strength to those who are working
to rebuild shattered lives,
and protect those who are vulnerable
especially in a time of coronavirus.

Lead us in your ways
so that together we may bring
the light of new hope
wherever there is destruction and despair.

We ask this through Christ our Lord, Amen.

Beirut emergency appeal

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.

 

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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Welsh cyclists urge public to join global Coronavirus appeal

Three Welsh cyclists – two of which now work for the NHS – have called on the people of Wales to join the Disaster Emergency Committee (DEC) Coronavirus Appeal, which is working to help the world’s most vulnerable communities threatened by Covid-19.

In a video message Rachel Draper, a coach at Welsh Cycling and former double World Champion cyclist, was joined by retired cycling husband and wife, Olympian, Ciara Oliva (nee Horne) and Commonwealth champion, Lewis Oliva – who now both work for the NHS – to call for support of the DEC appeal in Wales.

“The Coronavirus pandemic has touched many people in our towns and communities across Wales,” explained Ciara, who was an Olympian at Rio 2016, European Champion, a double World Cup winner and World Championship medallist.

“Sadly, families have lost loved ones. We’ve had to adapt to a new way of doing things, working, shopping, exercising, but perhaps most of all we have missed being able to get together with our closest friends and family.

“But we know from our own experience, here at home, that simple steps, taking simple precautions makes a huge difference.”

Now, a full-time physiotherapist with the NHS, Ciara explained how the appeal shows the dire need in poorest countries around the world.

In countries like Yemen, Syria and Sudan, families who have already had to flee violent conflict, now they face the new threat of coronavirus, without the precautions to protect themselves.

Ciara continued: “In some countries, volunteers use bikes to travel out to very remote communities to give them vital information about to how to prevent infection from Covid-19.  As elite cyclists, we salute their effort, commitment, and determination to get the job done and save lives.

“Here in Wales, we have been told, time and again, how important it is to wash our own hands frequently, to stop the spread of Coronavirus.

“It’s easy for us because we can turn on the tap at home and out comes clean water. So clean, we can drink it. But in many countries around the world, the very thing that is essential for handwashing – clean water – just isn’t available.”

Cyclist Lewis Oliva, who spent six years with British cycling, winning medals at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, World Cup and European and Commonwealth Games, before going onto study medicine at Cardiff University, added:

“We know the charities that make up the DEC have unique expertise and when those charities come together to launch an appeal, things must be serious.

“Charities like CAFOD, a member of the DEC, are already on the ground in places like Syria, doing what they can, but they need our help.

“The need is urgent. But together, we can help families protect themselves with water, soap, handwashing stations and healthcare information.”

Whatever you can give, however small, it will make a huge difference to help us reach and protect the most vulnerable people who have already lost everything.

 

Donate today.

 

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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Going above and beyond for our Coronavirus appeal

Ewan, 10, from Tavistock, cycled 320km to fundraise for CAFOD’s Coronavirus appeal.

Since lockdown began, CAFOD supporters across England and Wales have ​been breaking into a sweat to achieve amazing feat​s of: walking, cycling, and even paddle boarding, nearly half a million miles – the same distance to the moon and back – for our Coronavirus appeal.

Lockdown caused many activities and events to be cancelled. But that hasn’t stopped ​energetic women, children, young adults and men – CAFOD supporters and volunteers – raising vital ​money. ​

You’ve spent the last ten weeks being the ​pacesetters coming up with creative ways to fundraise.

Create your own fundraising challenge by checking out our A-Z of fundraising ideas.

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Why do you volunteer with CAFOD? Some of our volunteers tell us… and we can’t thank you all enough!

Thought we’d share this from last year – it’s a wonderful snapshot of why we are all trying to put our faith into action.

Lovely quote from one of the volunteers in Northampton diocese:
“Faith without works is dead.” James 2:26

What does this mean?
James writes that “as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.”

Our faith cannot just be theoretical – it must be shown in our actions, in what we do.

“Faith works through love.” (Gal 5:6)

And our actions are the result of a living faith.

The fruits of a faith transformed by God’s grace.

Hope is one of CAFOD’s core values.

Hope, dignity, compassion and solidarity. These values built on Gospel values give us hope and we thank God for that. We focus on our hope, we are shaping our world together – in a world permanently changed by the pandemic.

Hope is so important.

Hope for a better world.

Hope for a world built on justice.

Hope in a world where we live out what inspires us.

Hope is so important to our world as it shakes off our despair.

“Let us sing as we go. May our struggles and our concern for this planet, never take away the joy of our hope.” Pope Francis, LS #244

#NationalVolunteersWeek2020  Thank you to all our wonderful volunteer family – without you all, we could not reach out to the poorest and most vulnerable people on the periphery of our world.

Your prayers and your support transforms lives and transforms us.

THANK YOU.

 

We say THANK YOU to all our amazing volunteers – Celebrate together this Volunteers’ Week with Mass at 6 pm today (Thursday 4 June)

This is National Volunteers’ Week (1-7 June)  – an annual celebration of the millions of people who give up their time to help their communities and country. And this year, there are more people to thank than ever before.

CAFOD’s Director, Christine Allen, said: “During the Coronavirus pandemic, we have seen some amazing feats of volunteering to support the Coronavirus response both here and overseas.

“Over the past few months, here at CAFOD we have seen our numbers of volunteers and the time they are willing to give increase – equating to over 100,000 extra hours volunteered to help some of the world’s most vulnerable communities.”

Jane Davies (from St Miichael & All Angels parish, Belmont Abbey is doing a sponsored walk to raise funds for the Coronavirus appeal – Thank you Jane!

Volunteering in numbers

  • Across the UK, 11.9 million people formally volunteered at least once a month in 2017/18.
  • An amazing 6,305 CAFOD volunteers in England and Wales across 15 volunteering roles gave an average of 27,862 hours each month.
  • That’s the equivalent of 334,344 hours over the course of a year – a record-breaking 100,000 more hours than last year!

Join us

Every year, we hold volunteer events around the country to thank our amazing volunteers – and although our events may look a bit different this year, we’d still love for you to join us to celebrate what an amazing difference your volunteering has made.

Please join us on this evening (Thursday 4 June) at 6 pm for our Volunteers’ Week celebration online Mass.

Register to join us

 

Reasons why Jane is doing a sponsored walk for CAFOD’s Coronavirus Appeal

I remember reading about Albert Schweitzer, a Missionary Doctor, when I was about 12 and I knew I wanted to help out in poorer countries when I was older.  I grew up a faithful Catholic, learning to serve others with God’s help.

My husband and I went out to St Francis Mission Hospital in Katete, Zambia, when we had been married a couple of years.  I was a trained Laboratory Technician and he was a Nurse. What an eye opener, I reckon I came back with more questions than answers!

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