Here is our weekly update of coming online events.
Please click on the links to book a place or see www.cafod.org.uk/onlinetalks for a full list.
TOMORROW – Tuesday 11 August 7 – 8 pm CAFOD Live with Deputy Head of Africa James Marchant.
Join our Deputy Head of Africa, James Marchant to hear about our work across Africa and how they are implementing lessons from previous Ebola outbreaks.
Also this week…
Thursday 13 August 11 am-12 noon
What does a net zero world look like?
Missed one of our online events?
Recordings are available of past online meetings, just visit www.cafod.org.uk/onlinetalks and click ‘Watch recordings’.
Hope you can join us online to learn more.
Stay safe and well.
Maria Elena Arana, CAFOD’s Campaign Outreach Coordinator, shares three moments of CAFOD’s debt campaigning history and how you can get involved today.
1997: Fair Deal for the Poor
I started work in CAFOD’s campaign team back in summer 1991. CAFOD then was in the third year of the environment campaign Renewing the Earth.
During the 1990s, CAFOD supported policy forums that were looking at the impact of debt in increasing poverty in many developing countries across the world, but particularly in sub Saharan Africa. These issues became a key component of the CAFOD Fair Deal for the Poor campaign launched in 1997.
Today, CAFOD still calling for debt cancellation for the poorest countries, sign the petition now.
1998: Jubilee 2000
On 18 May 1998, the same day at the FA Cup final that year, a human chain of over 70,000 campaigners surrounded a meeting of leaders from the world’s richest countries – the G8 – in Birmingham.
By the end of the Jubilee 2000 campaign, over 300,000 CAFOD supporters had signed the Jubilee 2000 petition.
Twenty-three of the world’s poorest countries have received debt cancellation totalling over US $87 billion. As a result, spending on public services rose in all these countries: an average increase of around 40 per cent on education and a massive 70 per cent on healthcare.
2000-2004: Debt cancellation in Africa
When primary-school fees in Uganda were cancelled due to debt relief, the number of children enrolled in primary schools more than doubled, to more than five million, over the next four years.
Enrolments doubled again in the four years after that.
Twenty million more African children entered school thanks to debt cancellation and targeted aid increases between 2000 and 2004. Money freed up through debt cancellation helped build classrooms and provide training for teachers.
2020: Speak up to cancel the debt
In April 2020, the G20 group of the world’s largest economies announced that, due to the coronavirus pandemic, over 70 countries could stop making debt payments over the next eight months to the countries they owe.
This would save around $12 billion. This is a welcome step, however, debts must be cancelled – not just suspended.
Sign our petition asking the Prime Minister to cancel all debt payments by developing countries due in 2020 and 2021 so that countries can spend money on much needed healthcare rather than debt repayments.
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.
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.
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.
Staff and volunteers are also already in vulnerable communities:
He shared how the virus has unfortunately already reached his community and forced some members to leave the village, retreating further into the forest for protection.
Dario said: “Today, the Yanomami people are very sad and worried. But we’re going to keep fighting this important battle against Coronavirus in our territories.”
Please join us on 11 am-12 noon, Thursday 2 July, where Cecilia Ilorio, CAFOD’s Country representative for Brazil, will be sharing updates on the situation in the Amazon.
She will speak about how we are working alongside communities to help them prepare for and respond to the threat of the Coronavirus pandemic, while also working alongside these communities to help them to safeguard their indigenous lands.
Together, we are working to improve indigenous peoples living conditions, health access and education so they cannot only survive the Coronavirus crisis but begin to rebuild and heal.
Many pilgrimages have been cancelled due to lockdown, but that does not mean that you can’t take part in a virtual pilgrimage.
From 1-11 July, everyone is invited to take part in a virtual pilgrimage to the Holy Island, Lindisfarne, as part of CAFOD’s Summer of Hope.
Since lockdown began, CAFOD supporters across England and Wales have been breaking into a sweat to achieve amazing feats 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.
After such a delightful gathering of people at last week’s Mass in celebration of Volunteers’ Week, we would like to invite you all to join us this Thursday 11 June, 11 am-12 noon, for prayer and reflection.
This will be a great opportunity to meet with other volunteers from around the country, enjoy a short reflection and prayer.
It would be lovely if you could have a candle ready to light when you join the prayer.
After the reflection, there will be time to stay on the call for a virtual coffee morning, where you will have the chance to join a wider conversation.
Register to join us.