St Illtyd’s and a Rough Guide to CAFOD and the Refugee Crisis

Mr David Lewis, Head teacher at St Illtyd’s Catholic Primary School in Bonymaen, Swansea welcomed CAFOD in to the whole school assembly on Thursday 6 April where the children were given a “Rough Guide to CAFOD”

What does the D in CAFOD stand for?

Well it’s development.  And this was a great opportunity to explain what a development agency is and that development is about supporting people in poor communities to receive basic rights such as food, water, health care and education as well as a way to earn money to support themselves.

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St Francis inspires Ysgol Gatholig Sant Ffransis, Aberdaughleddau

Ysgol Gatholig Sant Ffransis, Aberdaugleddau – St Francis Catholic School in Milford Haven played their part in turning little fish into Big Fish for CAFOD’s Lent appeal in March.

There was a wonderful display in the hall with many colourful Mr Fish and thoughtful prayers that the children had shared.

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Creative ideas for Lent at St Francis Xavier’s

On Monday 13 March one of our schools volunteers, Therese Warwick, visited St Francis Xavier’s RC Primary School in Hereford to share the message of Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’ at assembly.

Watch the animation here.

This was followed up with a workshop with Year 4 and their class teacher, Mrs George who is also the school’s eco-co-ordinator.

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Magnficent Mumbles response to Lent and East Africa Crisis appeals

Give, Fast, Pray

Giving alms, Jesus teaches us, means making the needs of others our own.  In his message for Lent, Pope Francis said that:

 “Lent is a favourable season for opening the doors to all those in need and recognising in them the face of Christ. Each of us meets people like this every day.”

Joy Stafford, Tess O’Donahue, Anne Lane, Sue Philippart, Sarah O’Kane and Diane Davies

For CAFOD’s Lenten appeal, the parish of Our Lady, Star of the Sea in Mumbles hosted a tasty soup and bread lunch which was provided by the ladies of the parish.

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Lent Fast Day is today!

Today – March 10 – is Lent Fast Day.

In this year’s Lenten appeal we are learning about Florence – a 41 year old widow with two children, living in Zambia.  Florence wanted to learn about fish farming and received training from CAFOD’s partner, the Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Mary.

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£500 raised at St Joseph’s Cathedral School in Swansea

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Education volunteers Sue and Sarah with some of the infant pupils

St Joseph’s Cathedral School in Swansea organised a day of fundraising fun for the whole school on Friday 3 March and the staff chipped in too!

A parent of one of the children was delighted to support the school’s initiatives and volunteered to help out too – by providing a wonderfully generous Fish and Chip lunch for the staff, which was delivered to the school by two brothers – Ouday and Emir Hiks, from the local chippy.

What a delicious treat and fantastic way to raise funds too!

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Getting the lowdown on Zambia for Lent

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Supporters from some of the Swansea parishes – thank to Canon Flook and St David’s Priory for hosting

Thank you to everyone who attended the Lent Fast Day briefings around the Archdiocese, following the visit by Sr Yvonne.

We have one briefing still outstanding – in Burry Port on Wednesday 16 March at 6 pm.

We are so grateful for your support and it’s a wonderful opportunity for us to share the story behind the Lent appeal more widely.

Florence lost her husband ten years ago in a mining accident.  Despite being a very hardworking mother who is devoted to her family, she struggled to put enough food on the table for her family or to send her younger children to school.

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Supporters from every parish in the Hereford Deanery – special thanks to Fr Matthew Carney at Our Lady, Queen of Martyrs in Hereford

The Sisters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary who have been working in her community for over 20 years, recognised how determined Florence was to stand on her own two feet, so they gave her 500 tiny fish as well as the tools and the training to build a pond to farm them.

By selling some of the fish at market, Florence was able to send her children to school – to give them a future.  And Florence is already giving back, sharing what she has with the most vulnerable in her community.

We hope that you have all found the talks, online webinar, briefings or cup of tea meetings useful – we certainly have and it has been lovely to touch base with our wonderful parish volunteers.

If you weren’t able to look join us for the online webinar – all is not lost – you can access it a shorter version here on YouTube.

We showed this powerpoint presentation in the briefings.

And there is a very useful background information sheet on Zambia too.

Other resources you might find useful are a children’s liturgy illustration and a suggested children’s liturgy sheet.

Lent Fast day is this Friday 10 March when we come together to make sacrifices such as eating a simple lunch or supper.

Your sacrifice and donation will support other families like Florence’s so that they too can change their lives.  Just £4 will buy 100 tiny tilapia fish.  £20 will proved the material to build a pond.

Finally, why is so important to consider Gift Aid?  When you donate to CAFOD and fill in the Gift Aid form, you can increase the value of your gift by 25p for every £1 you give – at no extra cost to you. This extra 25 per cent makes a big difference and means that we are able to support our partners with additional funding.   See our Gift Aid video to find out more and to check if you are eligible to Gift Aid your donation.

Last year alone, we raised over £2.6 million through Gift Aid donations.  That extra income has transformed so many lives.  Thank you.

Menevia schools get Fishy for Lent

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St Mary’s Primary School, Pembroke Dock on Valentine’s Day

It’s been a busy time for our Schools volunteers team as they have been out and about visiting schools across the Archdiocese.

In Menevia, on Valentine’s Day St Mary’s Primary School in Pembroke Dock welcomed us into school to learn all about how a fish farming project in Zambia is transforming lives – the children loved the video of Bob, the fish that’s he size of your thumb!p1150290

We also talked about Green Hearts for Valentine’s Day.  We were making and sharing a green heart to show our love for our world and how much we need to take care of it to reduce the impact of climate change. #ShowTheLove

The whole school assembly was followed up by a Lampedusa Cross pilgrimage with Years 4, 5 and 6.

Many of our neighbours around the world struggle to make ends meet.  They don’t even have enough money to buy the basics in life that we take for granted – like food, a home and clothes.

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Laudato Si’ workshop with St Teilo’s Primary School

 

On Monday 27 February, just before Lent started, St Teilo’s Primary school in Tenby learned how we can help to change this by joining with other schools across England and Wales to Turn little fish into Big fish in the whole school assembly.

Morning assembly was followed by a workshop for Year 5  and 6 exploring Laudato Si’  The Pope’s encyclical discusses the damage being inflicted on the Earth by humans and calls on ‘every person living on this planet’ to make urgent changes to our lifestyles and how we consume energy in order to protect the planet.

Take a look at our Laudato Si’ animation.

The day after Lent began, we travelled to St Joseph’s Junior School in Port Talbot to share the story of Florence’s transformation through fish farming with the help of CAFOD’s partners in Zambia.

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St Joseph’s Junior School, Port Talbot

After break Year 5 and Year 6 also followed the Lampedusa Cross pilgrimage action – and wrote some beautiful and poignant messages of hope for refugees.

The following day we were delighted to meet pupils at St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School in Neath.  One of our newest school volunteers, Jane, delivered the Lent Fast Day assembly and was delighted with interest in CAFOD at the school.  She was particularly delighted to learn that St Joseph’s is an “eco friendly” school which strives to recycle as much waste as possible and encourages healthy snacks for children such as fruit, which is not packaged which helping us all to care for our common home.

schoolchildrenWe are always on the look out for more people to join our growing team of Education volunteers in Menevia.

Does this appeal to you?

Please get in touch if you would like some further details.

We all feel that it is such a rewarding role and a real privilege to work with the young people and dedicated staff in our Catholic schools in the diocese.

 

Sr Yvonne from Zambia

supporters-with-sr-yvonne-at-nazareth-house-cardiffOn Monday 13 February we welcomed Sr Yvonne to Wales.  She is from the Sisters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary who is one of our overseas partners in Mbala in Zambia.

Sr Yvonne and her community are living out Pope Francis’ call to hear the Cry of the Earth and the Cry of the Poor.

She shared her story with supporters at Nazareth House on Monday 13 February.  Sr Yvonne has been working with a project called “Households in Distress” supporting some of the most vulnerable communities to adapt to climate change.

sr-yvonneSr Yvonne is also working with small-scale farmers, helping them to grow crops that are resistant to drought. Farmers who only maintain maize are much more susceptible to crop failure, especially as maize totally depends on the rains which are become increasingly erratic because of a changing climate.

Sr Yvonne shared the story of Florence, a widow with two children from Zambia (pictured below) who, with your help, has been able to turn tiny fish into a thriving business and a future for her family.

florence-in-zambia

She says:

“Each day of my life, I look at everything – creation, people – and I say, ‘Well this is what God has created and it is good.’

 

It is our duty as Christians to bring back that goodness because in this world and in our country – some of the injustices, the sufferings and a lot of negative things, unfortunately take away that goodness. So for me it’s all the time trying to bring that goodness.”

If you missed Sr Yvonne’s talk or webinar, all is not lost as there is a YouTube link here

Find all our Lent Fast day resources here

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Speaking up for CAFOD and 12,000 feet up in the Andes

Bernadette, Sue (Mumbles) Paul &  Stella (Pontyberem) and Sandra (Neath) with a Lampedusa Cross at the Swansea briefing (Mary from St David's is missing from the photo)

Two parishes in Menevia – St David’s Priory Church in Swansea and Our Lady, Queen of Peace in Llanelli hosted Fast Day briefings for some of our dedicated volunteers earlier this month.

This year the country of focus for Harvest is Bolivia.

It’s a landlocked country in central South America and one third of the country is the Andean mountain range.

It’s the poorest country in South America.

The Altiplano is a vast, inhospitable plain almost 4,000 metres above sea level.

The soil is poor quality because the area is incredibly arid.  The climate is changing and becoming increasingly unpredictable. Continue reading