Update from our partners on our Coronavirus response

Water and sanitation in Nigeria

We are receiving regular updates from our local aid experts, sharing the progress of projects in countries like Nigeria

Food distribution and cash payments to vulnerable families in Bangladesh

And information from local organisations who are working in some of the most vulnerable communities, like Caritas Bangladesh who is working alongside refugee in the camps in Cox’s Bazar.

Coronavirus awareness-raising training with faith leaders in Sierra Leone

A couple of weeks ago, we had a brilliant webinar with Kayode Akintola, our Country Representative in Sierra Leone, about the Ebola crisis and its relevance for the coronavirus outbreak.

You can catch up here if you missed it.

One of our CAFOD volunteers in the North East, Paul Robinson, the Managing Director of PER Productions, kindly volunteered his professional expertise to create these three short videos based around Kayode’s talk.

You can watch them here, and please feel free to share them with members of your community, school or parish:

Coronavirus threatens Sierra Leone: https://vimeo.com/418056059

CAFOD responds to coronavirus in Sierra Leone: https://vimeo.com/418056395

CAFOD supporters keep hope alive in Sierra Leone: https://vimeo.com/418056858

 

Now is not the time to build barriers, but for the world to unite in love and compassion.

We need a global response to this global pandemic

People pray before Mass at a church service in the DRC. (celebrated by Abbé Michel Kabongenaje, who frequently preaches about the dangers of Ebola)

As we cope with lockdown, the coronavirus pandemic is changing all our lives.

For some of us it has been devastating, losing loved ones or desperately worrying about those who are vulnerable.

All of us feel the day-to-day impact, some facing financial hardship or working in a front-line role at greater risk.

But as people of faith, we also think of, and pray for, our sisters and brothers in developing countries who are facing this pandemic with fragile health systems:  some of which have almost no intensive care beds or ventilators.

Food prices have already risen with borders closing, the poorest are losing their jobs and income with wholesale shutdowns.

Furthermore, inadequate healthcare, lack of access to basic washing facilities and limited ability for social distancing inevitably increases the risk of contracting the disease on an incalculable scale.

Coronavirus is laying bare the inequalities that exist in our society, and for countries with health systems much more fragile than our own, the effects are likely to be even more devastating..

Despite being asked to stay at home we can still do something about this crisis.

We can use our voices here in the UK to ask our government to take practical, concrete actions to assist developing countries in the Coronavirus response.

We are all in this together, one global family. And as Pope Francis reminds us:

“We need to strengthen the conviction that we are one single human family. There are no frontiers or barriers, political or social, behind which we can hide, still less is there room for the globalization of indifference” LS #52

Please will you sign the CAFOD petition to ask our government to work with other world leaders to help the most vulnerable people in our world to cope with this crisis?

To sign the petition online visit cafod.org.uk/coronaviruscampaign

What is the petition asking?  

It’s asking our Prime Minister to work with other world leaders to:

  •  Make sure that any vaccine developed with UK public money is made available to everyone regardless of income or where in the world they live.
  •  Provide urgent financial and technical support to help developing countries cope with this crisis.
  • Cancel all debt payments by developing countries due in 2020 so that countries can spend money on much needed healthcare rather than debt repayments.
  • Put plans in place to rebuild a fairer, more just society after the crisis so that the world’s most vulnerable people can live in dignity and to restore our common home for future generations.

 Please sign this petition to our Prime Minister today.  And please, please can we ask you to share it with your parish, your family and friends and your wider social network, if you can.

 

Even though we are no longer meeting face-to-face in parishes, there are new ways of connecting online, whether that is through parish websites, bulletins, emails or social media. 

We are in the midst of a public health challenge here in the UK, but sadly experience tells us that it will be far worse in the developing world, which is why we launched an EMERGENCY APPEAL two weeks ago.

We need a global response to this global problem and CAFOD is responding quickly. Our local experts are already in these communities helping those in need, preventing the spread of the virus and protecting lives.

We are providing personal protective equipment (PPE) for doctors and nurses at this Catholic Health Clinic and Maternity Unit in Kailahun District, Sierra Leone:

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Our common home and care for the vulnerable

Here is a lovely short film from Bishop Mark O’Toole in Plymouth Diocese – reflecting on Laudato Si’ and May, the month of Mary.

Download a copy of Laudato Si‘ – a work of Catholic Social Teaching and a way to proclaim our faith anew.

 

SUMMER OF HOPE

As we celebrate the fifth-year anniversary of Laudato Si’, now seems the perfect time to reflect on Pope Francis’ words from his ground-breaking encyclical.

His words, calling everyone to hear to ‘the cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor’ seem particularly apt during this time of the Coronavirus pandemic, where we have seen communities come together in solidarity to tackle the virus.

And, in the scale of the global pandemic, we are often drawn to thinking that our individual actions can’t make a difference. Yet, Pope Francis reminds us that “all it takes is one good person to restore hope.”

So, this summer, we are calling you and your family to help restore hope in your local and our global community. We are calling on you to be the signs of hope for our world.

What can I do?

Getting involved is easy.

We are inviting everyone to get involved in the Summer of Hope by recreating at home the events you will miss this summer and transforming them into a sign of hope through raising money for CAFOD’s Coronavirus Appeal.

From sports days to summer fayres, we have a whole range of ideas you can reinvent at home in our A-Z of fundraising ideas.

You can hold your socially-distanced event with your family, school community or parish – and make sure to record your efforts on social media, tagging your photos and posts with @cafod #summerofhope.

Fundraising is easy through a JustGiving page and if you’d like any help, just drop us a phone call or email on [insert local details here]. You can also donate directly through the CAFOD website.

We can’t wait to see everything you get up to!

Dermot O’Leary backs CAFOD’s coronavirus appeal

Dermot O’Leary has added his backing to our Coronavirus Appeal for people living in some of the poorest countries in the world.

The TV and radio presenter said:

“Millions of people in developing countries face devastation from coronavirus and will be able to do nothing to stop it.

They need all the help they can get.

“That is why I am backing CAFOD’s fundraising appeal, so that people already living on the brink get some of the care and support we would want our own families to receive.”

“Please give whatever you can and help CAFOD’s local experts deliver food, provide clean water and train community leaders to help save lives.”

Donate now

What is my lockdown legacy?

Five years ago, Pope Francis wrote Laudato Si’ – a profound invitation to everyone on the planet to care for the earth, our common home. To mark its anniversary, Pope Francis invites us all to participate in Laudato Si’ week from 16-24 May.

During Laudato Si’ week, we at CAFOD are asking you to think about your hope for the world – to reflect and think about the world beyond lockdown.

To get involved, we are asking you to share what you want your lockdown legacy to be on social media using #LockdownLegacy and tagging @CAFOD.

Lots of people have already got involved.

Mrs Henderson from Manchester said: “My hope for the world is that we may never take the small things for granted because really they were the big things; the things that nourished our souls.”

While Councillor Sam Corcoran, Leader of Cheshire East Council, shared a message on twitter about his lockdown legacy around the environment and Laudato Si.

Listen to Councillor Sam Corcoran’s full message

We are really looking forward to hearing about your #lockdownledgacy

Bishop John Arnold hosts virtual mass for Laudato Si’ week

To mark the fifth anniversary of Pope Francis’ groundbreaking encyclical Laudato Si’, Bishop John Arnold of Salford is set to hold a special Mass and is inviting parishioners from across the country to join the online service.

Since churches were forced to close due to the lockdown, Priests across the country have leapt into action, organising online services so congregations can still celebrate together.

Bishop John Arnold, Bishop of Salford, has been no exception hosting regular masses live-streamed from Salford Cathedral with the latest being planned for Wednesday 20 May, 6-7 pm, to mark the five year anniversary of Pope Francis environmental letter, Laudato Si’.

The Laudato Si’ Week Eucharistic Celebration with Bishop John Arnold will take place on Wednesday, 20 May 6-7 pm, you can tune into watch here: https://www.churchservices.tv/salfordcathedral

 

Laudato Si’ week – take a look at the events planned

TOMORROW – Laudato Si’ – volunteer prayer & chat, Tuesday 19 May @ 11 am
Five years after the publication of Pope Francis’ groundbreaking encyclical Laudato Si’, let’s come together online in prayer and reflection on caring for our common home. This online meeting will include a Bible reading, chance to reflect and share and a time of prayer together. Don’t forget to have a candle to light if you can.

NB ticket orders will close 1 hour before the start of the session in order to allow time for us to send you the link.

Vigil Mass for Ascension Thursday with Bishop John Arnold, Wed 20 May @ 6pm

All are welcome to join together in solidarity and prayer to celebrate a special Vigil Mass for Ascension Thursday during Laudato Si’ week. It will be streamed live from Salford Cathedral. We look forward to having you join us on 20 May at 6pm.

Motivating talk: Neil Thorns (CAFOD’s Head of Advocacy)  Thursday 21 May @ 11am

Join us online for an inspirational talk from CAFOD’s Head of Advocacy and find about the amazing people he meets in his work and how Laudato Si’ has affected him.

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY

Coronavirus in Latin America with Clare Dixon, Tue 26 May @ 11 am

Local volunteers in Zimbabwe & Nigeria responding quickly in emergencies:Thu 28 May @ 11am

Bookings for all of these via the website: 

Laudato Si’ week – 16-24 May – 5 years on!

Five years ago, Pope Francis realised his landmark encyclical, Laudato Si’ – and to mark this special anniversary, Catholics from around the world are uniting for Laudato Si’ Week, 16-24 May.

Join CAFOD’s online events

 

Linda Jones, CAFOD’s Head of Theology, said:

“I can still remember how excited I was five years ago when I first read Laudato Si’. It was full of ideas and written in a style that was easy to understand. Pope Francis challenges us, then and now, to think differently about progress, and to renew our commitment to bring about positive change for our neighbours and for the earth – our common home.

“He reminds us of how interconnected we all are – and how important it is to become more attentive to our relationships with God, each other and the earth. What kind of world do we want to leave behind for our children, and for all future generations?

“This call to care for our common home was a great challenge: to change not only our minds but also our hearts – a true ecological conversion.’’

During this special week, CAFOD is holing a range of online events, beginning with a volunteer prayer and chat.

Taking place 11 am-12 pm on Tuesday 19 May, we will be holding an online meeting for volunteers from across the country to come together to mark the fifth anniversary of Laudato Si‘.

The session will include a Bible reading, time to reflect and share, and group prayer.

Make sure to sign up to attend

 

COVID-19 and the impact on International Debt – join us online tomorrow (Thursday 14 May)

Coronavirus Appeal – cash distribution for basic essentials in Bangladesh by CAFOD partner, Caritas Bangladesh

We are currently living through the biggest public health crisis in a century. Right across the UK, coronavirus is having a devastating impact on all of our daily lives, and many people have lost precious loved ones.

But in many developing countries where poverty is widespread and healthcare systems are much more fragile, the effects are likely to be disastrous.

Join us on Thursday 14 May, 11 am-12 pm, for a talk about the impact that COVID-19 is having in developing countries and their International Debt.

CAFOD’s Lead Analyst, Dario Kenner, and Campaign Manager, Maria Elena Arana, will be speaking about how CAFOD advocacy program is responding to this financial crisis.

People wait to receive information re Covid-19 and food in Zimbabwe

And, how we at CAFOD are calling on the UK government to ensure that the most vulnerable people are the priority in the UK’s international efforts as well as at home.

Make sure to sign up now!

Get your thinking caps on and join CAFOD’s VE day quiz – this Friday at 6.30 pm

Join our very first online CAFOD quiz this Friday to bring our communities from across the country together for some light-hearted fun at this difficult time.

The VE DAY QUIZ is this Friday 8 May from 6.30 pm – 8pm and we are suggesting a donation of £5 per adult, which you can donate through our website. This will go towards our new Coronavirus appeal.

So we’ll be supporting those most in need around the world as we celebrate VE day this Bank Holiday (Friday).  It’s a chance to reflect and be thankful for our freedom.

You can register here and make sure you tell your friends and family too!

VE Day – or ‘Victory in Europe Day’ – marked the day towards the end of World War Two when fighting against Nazi Germany in Europe came to an end.

On 7 May 1945, Germany surrendered and the following day, the 8th May, at 3 o’clock in the afternoon, Winston Churchill gave a radio broadcast to the nation to announce that war in Europe was over.

It was a hugely emotional day that many, many people had been longing and praying for. Understandably people were over the moon that fighting had stopped and people celebrated in the streets with parties.

In London, huge crowds gathered outside Buckingham Palace – many were wearing patriotic red, white and blue.

At the time, the Queen was a young woman and she described it as: “one of the most memorable nights of my life”.

Many people went to church to thank God. But millions of people had already lost family members in the war. So there were joyful celebrations yes but enormous sadness too as war was still waging in other parts of the world – the Second World War was not over yet. .

Winston Churchill said: “We may allow ourselves a brief period of rejoicing, but let us not forget for a moment the toil and efforts that lie ahead.”

So in the midst of the present global pandemic – a health and an economic crisis – affecting all of us – we thought we could allow ourselves a brief period of escapism too – so it’s the CAFOD VE Day Quiz for us!

So please bring your family and join in on Friday evening – 8th May at 6.30- 8.00 pm. Don’t forget your £5 donation will go straight to our Coronavirus Appeal.

Lots of general knowledge to test our little grey cells.  Most of all it’s a fun distraction and we’ll be supporting vital work for our global family at the same time.
We look forward to seeing you all.  Don’t forget to register beforehand! 

Ir you feel your compering skills need airing, why not organise your own quiz….

You can choose one of our quiz sets and use our quiz night toolkit to help organise your quiz.

If you’re holding a quiz for under 18s, use the CAFOD youth quiz resources.

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CAFOD’s coronavirus appeal

Last week, CAFOD launched an urgent appeal to respond to the unprecedented global challenge of tackling the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in some of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable communities.

We are already working alongside local aid experts who are providing food and improving hand-washing and sanitation facilities in communities and households.

And, with churches who are using their networks to share hygiene messages through Catholic radio stations, and producing posters in local dialects on infection prevention.

With the help of generous communities across the UK, we hope to scale up this support.

Donate to CAFOD’s coronavirus appeal now

CAFOD’s Director, Christine Allen, said: “The potential scale of the pandemic across Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East – as well as among refugee and displaced populations in places such as Syria, South Sudan and the Rohingya camps in Bangladesh – is truly frightening.

“We have a narrow window of opportunity to reach communities with the basics for life – food and clean water, and the messages they need on how best to keep safe. Donations have never been more urgent, providing steadfast support to those who are in greatest need”.

 

Coronavirus Appeal – raising awareness and prevention in Afghanistan

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