DEC Coronavirus appeal raises £10 million in first week – helping charities like CAFOD to respond as first cases reported in Northern Syria

This week, thanks to the generosity of the UK public, the Disasters Emergency Committee – of which CAFOD is a member – Coronavirus Appeal has raised an incredible £10 million to help those living in the most fragile states.

The DEC Coronavirus Appeal will help the most vulnerable people in six of the world’s most fragile states: Yemen and Syria; Somalia, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo; and Afghanistan.

Donate now

In Syria, our local partners on the ground are reporting urgent concerns about the risks of the virus spreading, as vulnerable people are unable to take the basic measures to protect themselves.

Mustafa, 28, a frontline worker supported by CAFOD, lives in a camp outside Idlib with displaced people.

He explained how they are preparing for what he calls ‘an explosion of coronavirus’ in the camps. He said:

“My heart is beating so hard; we are expecting an explosion of coronavirus in the camps.

The coming days are really critical for us.

“Doctors are preparing for the spread of the virus. People live in large overcrowded settlements in tents with maybe 12 people and no access to clean water. It will be a catastrophe. Disaster. Please help them.”

Donate to the DEC Coronavirus Appeal now

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The role of faith-based charities in time of pandemic

The DEC’s faith-based charities: CAFOD, Christian Aid, Islamic Relief, Tearfund and World Vision – can play an essential role not only in terms of community outreach and messaging relevant to prevention ( i.e. in promoting safe spacing precautions and essential behavioural change), but also in terms of dealing with the mental impact and long term effects of pandemics.

Faith leaders have potential for awareness raising in a way that is more trusted by local communities, complementing and reinforcing the work of national authorities and the global public health and humanitarian response.

Faith communities often play a vital role in helping the most vulnerable to have access to soap, water, hygiene kits (which contain a bowl, soap, shampoo, sanitary pads and toothbrushes, among other essential items) and can mobilise the wider community to counteract the stigma of quarantine and sickness, and to support families in isolation.

In order to continue protecting and improving the lives of those in poor communities, your gifts are needed now more than ever. Your essential support will help families survive.

Please support this urgent appeal, if you can.

And keep our global family in your prayers. 

£6 can buy a hygiene package for a vulnerable family containing soap, washing powder and reusable face masks

£33 can give a religious leader information about Coronavirus, which they can share with their community.

£260 can write, edit and broadcast a 30-second radio advert sharing news about Coronavirus with isolated communities.

Click below to see the latest DEC Coronavirus appeal message, featuring Mustafa, a local water expert, supported by CAFOD in Syria.

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“Stay home, stay safe!” But what if your home isn’t safe? The reality for thousands of Syrians…

Apologies for the lateness of this post, but yesterday evening (Tuesday 7 July between 7 and 8 pm), we held a special online talk about what it is like to live with Coronavirus in Syria and the surrounding countries.  Listen to the recording here.

Here in the UK, we are so used to hearing the message ‘stay home, stay safe’, but what if your home isn’t safe?’

This is reality for thousands of Syrians who were forced to flee their homes because of war and violence and are now displaced within their own country or are living as refugees in neighbouring countries.

In Syria, there is real worry for people living in camps where overcrowding makes social distancing almost impossible and where the remaining healthcare facilities are extremely fragile. The extensive community networks of the Church in Syria mean that it is well placed to provide aid in some of the worst-hit and most inaccessible areas of the country.

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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:

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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.

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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

We say THANK YOU to all our amazing volunteers – Celebrate together this Volunteers’ Week with Mass at 6 pm today (Thursday 4 June)

This is National Volunteers’ Week (1-7 June)  – an annual celebration of the millions of people who give up their time to help their communities and country. And this year, there are more people to thank than ever before.

CAFOD’s Director, Christine Allen, said: “During the Coronavirus pandemic, we have seen some amazing feats of volunteering to support the Coronavirus response both here and overseas.

“Over the past few months, here at CAFOD we have seen our numbers of volunteers and the time they are willing to give increase – equating to over 100,000 extra hours volunteered to help some of the world’s most vulnerable communities.”

Jane Davies (from St Miichael & All Angels parish, Belmont Abbey is doing a sponsored walk to raise funds for the Coronavirus appeal – Thank you Jane!

Volunteering in numbers

  • Across the UK, 11.9 million people formally volunteered at least once a month in 2017/18.
  • An amazing 6,305 CAFOD volunteers in England and Wales across 15 volunteering roles gave an average of 27,862 hours each month.
  • That’s the equivalent of 334,344 hours over the course of a year – a record-breaking 100,000 more hours than last year!

Join us

Every year, we hold volunteer events around the country to thank our amazing volunteers – and although our events may look a bit different this year, we’d still love for you to join us to celebrate what an amazing difference your volunteering has made.

Please join us on this evening (Thursday 4 June) at 6 pm for our Volunteers’ Week celebration online Mass.

Register to join us

 

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!

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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

 

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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