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

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.

Continue reading

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.

Summer of Hope Assembly

The ‘Summer of Hope’ will be officially launched on 18 June with a nationwide assembly premiered on CAFOD’s YouTube channel to schools in England and Wales.

The assembly, titled ‘Hope in the Time of Coronavirus’ will inspire schools, communities, and young people to reflect on the impact of Coronavirus and act to be signs of hope for our global family.

Monica Conmee, CAFOD’s Head of Education, said:

“During the recent lockdown, communities across the UK came together to stand in solidarity to fight the coronavirus.

“Even though we had to be physically apart during this time, seeing extraordinary feats of generosity and kindness within communities helped to bring us together. Just because lock-down is lifting, there is no reason why we should lose that community spirit.”

“This summer, like never before, we are called to come together – albeit virtually – as a sign of hope and strength.

“The events that take place during the ‘Summer of Hope’ will not only provide a much-needed brightness in the local community but will also show that no family or community stands alone.”

Join the Summer of Hope at cafod.org.uk/SummerofHope

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.