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)

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:

Continue reading

Why is everyone talking about the Department for International Development (DfID)?

In 2017, CAFOD supporters spoke to MPs

Last week, the government announced that it was planning to merge the Department for International development and the Foreign Office.

Faith charities and international development aid agencies alike were saddened by the decision, calling it ‘seriously misguided’.

CAFOD’s Director, Christine Allen, said:

“Our support for our brothers and sisters living in poverty shouldn’t be contingent on what we as Britain can get out of it – we must have a clear distinction between our aid budget and money spent on British interests.

“Increasingly issues such as climate change, the destruction of nature, and the spread of Covid-19 demonstrate unequivocally that global issues can only be tackled through increased global cooperation, and that progress can be reversed through retreating into approaches based on national interest.”

CAFOD joined forced with other leading faith charities across the country to put out a statement, which you can read here.

Christine wrote to The Daily Telegraph letter’s section, writing:

“As UK Aid is spent by more and more departments, the UK government must commit to the highest levels of transparency across the whole portfolio.

“We need to see a levelling up, not a levelling down, in the accountability of UK aid.”

The full letter is published here.

We also heard from our international partners, concerned by the decision, including the Reverend George Cosmos Zumaire Lungu of the Diocese of Chipata, in Zambia, wrote to the Prime Minister about the decision.

Dennis, 17, on his grandmother’s farmland in Mbala, Zambia

We will make sure to keep you updated as the situation develops, and you can keep up to date on the latest developments by following our social media channels : Facebook and Twitter 

The Plan for a green, fair and healthy recovery – The Climate Coalition (CAFOD is a member)

Read the lettersent to the Prime Minister on 15 June – signed by The Climate Coalition, including, Christine Allen (CAFOD, Director).

“Ministers have said a lot about drawing up recovery plans which recognise that helping the economy means creating green jobs and investing in measures to protect our common home. Now we need the Prime Minister to turn words into actions.

“As we emerge from this crisis, we must put in place the policies to halt the climate crisis, as well as cancel debt payments for the world’s poorest countries as they deal with the effects of both of these emergencies.”

Click to access Green+recovery+plan+final+1.pdf

Five ways you can join in our Coronavirus appeal

There are many ways to get involved in our Coronavirus appeal and here we’ve listed a few ideas to get you started.

  1. Share on social media

We always share our latest updates and news on all our social media channels. Make sure that you are following our social media pages: Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Click to follow us here: Twitter  Facebook  and Instagram Instagram (South Wales account) so you can be the first to hear about the latest developments in our projects and programmes and keep up-to-date with what is happening locally.

  1. Organise an event for our Summer of Hope

This summer, like never before, we are called to be signs of hope for our world.

And you can get involved by getting your friends, family and community together to virtually recreate a summer event, while fundraising for our Coronavirus appeal.

Could you get family on friends together online and come up with some quiz questions for fun, and donate or organise a virtual parish pilgrimage, getting sponsored for each mile walked?

Jane Davies from St Michael & All Angels parish at Belmont Abbey in Hereford recently took up this challenge and you can visit her fundraising page here: (21 mile sponsored walk). 

Check our A-Z fundraising guide for more ideas.

  1. Ask your friends to sign our petition for overseas debt cancellation

Through his Easter Urbi et Orbi message of hope, Pope Francis called for the whole world to be united in the face of the global Coronavirus pandemic.

Urging us all to reject indifference, he called for the reduction, if not the forgiveness, of the debt that is “burdening the balance sheet of the poorest nations.

The spread of Coronavirus to countries with poor health systems will be devastating.  By cancelling debt payments, this money can be diverted to the health systems and infrastructure that is desperately needed.

At CAFOD we recently launched a petition asking the government to ensure that the most vulnerable and marginalised people are the priority in the UK’s international efforts as well as at home.

As Pope Francis reminds us, together we can speak out against a ‘globalisation of indifference’. We can use our voices to call for a fair and just political response

Make sure to sign and share our petition to help protect the world’s most vulnerable

  1. Get your parish or church group together for a virtual a Coronavirus prayer morning

We are so often told by the communities that we work alongside that prayers from communities in the UK are so powerful and meaningful to them.

Your prayers help to connect us as a global family and shows great solidarity and support.

So, why not get your parish group together for a prayer meeting and together reflect on how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting our global brothers and sisters?

We have a selection of coronavirus prayers available for download

 

5. Donate the price of your coffee, haircut, or gym membership to the coronavirus appeal.

When lockdown meant that Jacquelyn and Alan Williams couldn’t frequent their local coffee shop, they decided to set up their own garden café and donate the price of their daily coffee to CAFOD’s coronavirus appeal.

Jacqueline said: “Before the lockdown, we never really thought anything about going a few times a week for a quick coffee and cake, but since we’ve been in lockdown, we realised how much we missed that experience. So, we decided to recreate it in our own garden – and it’s been a real treat! We wanted to do this to show everyone how easy it is to fundraise and help others.

It doesn’t have to be something big.

A small gesture really can make a big difference.”

Why not follow Jacqueline and Alan’s lead and donate the price of something you’ve saved to help families around the world?

 

Recent online talks and dates for some future ones too…

Stories of Human Rights Defenders in Colombia

 Apologies all – this was yesterday: Wednesday, 17 June 11 am-12 noon – but a recording will be available online shortly. 

Join us to hear about the inspiring work of Human Rights Defenders in Colombia with Ulrike Beck, CAFOD’s Programme manager in Colombia.

Register to join us.

Meet the Director – Geoff O’Donoghue

TODAY – Thursday, 18 June 11 am-12 noon 

Join us for to hear from Geoff O’Donoghue, CAFOD’s Director of Operations, about the amazing people he meets in his work and how it has changed his life.

Register to join us.

CAFOD’s response to the global COVID-19 crisis – an update

Tuesday, 23 June 11 am-12 noon

Join us to hear from CAFOD’s panel of experts updating us on COVID-19 globally.
Claire Dixon Head of Region Latin America & Caribbean, Janet Symes Head of Region Asia & Middle East , Fergus Conmee Head of Region of Africa, John Birchenough Head of Humanitarian Programmes Africa and Jo Kitterick Head of Fundraising will report on situation in their region.

Register to join us.

 

Marking life’s key moments

Thursday, 25 June 11 am-12 noon

Hear from three amazing supporters who make CAFOD’s work possible. Find out how they are putting their faith into action, sharing hope and joy during life’s key moments.

Register to join us.

Past online talks

Browse all past online talks

Together, we can help communities to survive, rebuild, and heal

Join us TOMORROW (Thursday 18 June) from 11 am-12 noon to hear from Geoff O’Donoghue, CAFOD’s Director of Operations, about the amazing people he meets in his work and how it has changed his life.

When speaking recently about the how generous acts of kindness by UK communities has impacted families overseas, he said:

“We are in awe of the generosity communities across England and Wales have shown. Thank you.

“It’s now over to our local experts and volunteers, who are already in affected areas. They have the knowledge and experience to help stop Coronavirus from devastating the most vulnerable communities in the world.

“Your donations will ensure that these front-line workers can put our global, three-part plan into place so that we can save lives now, protect the incredible progress we’ve made together towards ending poverty, and build a world that is kinder, healthier and more ready to deal with shocks in the future.

“This is a crisis that affects us all.

It will take all of us working together to survive, rebuild, and heal.”

Register to join us now

Volunteer prayer reflection & virtual coffee morning this Thursday at 11 am

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.

All welcome.

5 reasons to take a gap year with CAFOD

Step into the Gap is an opportunity to take a gap year where you make a difference by inspiring others to create a more just and peaceful world. The 10-month programme is for 18-30 year olds who want to spend a year in the service of others whilst also learning about themselves and the world we live in.

  • Developing Leadership skills

CAFOD hosts training sessions as a chance to develop your leadership skills. You will be able to put this into action in your local community when you organise events, lead sessions, deliver talks, write articles, and possibly even speak on local radio.

  • Get experience in a work environment

At the end of your year with CAFOD you will be equipped with valuable skills to take into the workplace. Our gap year volunteers have gone on to teach, gained internships in international development, become charity communication officers, policy interns, and some even now work at CAFOD! Where will you end up?

  • Empower and inspire future generations

You will be based on a placement in a youth retreat centre, school or university chaplaincy, and will spend your time interacting with children and young people. You’ll help them to learn about global issues and inspire them to take action. This is perfect experience if you want to work in teaching, chaplaincy or youth work, or just build your confidence more generally.

  • Grow your faith

Over the year, you will have the opportunity to explore and grow your faith. You can learn more about the Church’s teaching on key documents such as Laudato Si’. You don’t have to be Catholic to be part of the programme, but we expect you to have an understanding of the Catholic Church as you will be living in a Catholic community.

  • Get to meet like-minded people

Our past gappers look back on their year with fondness and part of the reason for that is the friends they have made as part of the year. Whether as part of your placement or as part of the Step into the Gap team, you will meet people who have similar interests to you and others who are interested in global justice and taking action.

Learn more about CAFOD’s gap year

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!

Continue reading