Bishop David shares how he supported CAFOD’s Coronavirus Appeal

In July Bishop David Oakley made a video sharing how he was going to support CAFOD’s Summer of Hope and why.

When Deborah Purfield (CAFOD coordinator for the diocese) met up with Bishop David on the 18 September, he handed her a cheque, saying “It was good to be able to offer a supporting word over the summer, for the wonderful work undertaken by CAFOD.  I made a promise on that occasion to give the money that I would have spent on flat white coffees during the coronavirus lockdown to CAFOD to help those who are facing chronic food shortages, malnutrition and poverty as the result of coronavirus. It was touch and go, and the promise seemed a little reckless as the weeks wore on, but I managed to survive without my favourite coffee for a few months and I’m happy to hand over my cheque for £100 to Debbie.”

Bishop David Oakley gives up buying flat white coffee to supports CAFOD’s Coronavirus appeal

Thank you so much Bishop David not only for sharing your inspirational words but also for sharing with us what you have personally done to helped support our brothers and sisters in great need.

>> To give to the Coronavirus appeal click here.

 

Volunteer Fast Day briefing and CAFOD’s work in Sierra Leone and Liberia

The third of 3 CAFOD harvest briefings took place on 19 September.  We had 13 people attended from all over the diocese.

Deborah Purfield (CAFOD coordinator) thanked all for their support and shared how with their help, CAFOD has managed to raise over £2.5m for the Coronavirus appeal.  The following video was shared:

We were really blessed to have Kayode Akintola , country representative of Sierra Leone and Liberia, to give an update of CAFOD’s response to the Coronavirus crisis in those countries.  He started by stating the situation of the countries.

Sierra Leone with 7 million people and Liberia with 4 million are small counties and are the bottom 8 of the world in terms of income, with serious multi-dimensional poverty and  with over 60%  living on less than  US$1.90$/day!  Their health services are seriously inadequate with a high maternal mortality and over 31% of children under 5 being malnourished.  With COVID19 adding to this, people are facing really very difficult times.

Currently, Sierra Leone is reporting 2,153 cases but only < 30,000 tests have been carried out in 6 months.  Liberia has reported 1,133 cases with only <20,000 tests being carried out in the same time period!  Indicating a  gross underestimate of the number of cases. On average, this is 3 in 1000 being tested as compared to the UK which is over 100 times more!

COVID-19 awareness -raising workshop with faith leaders in Sierra Leone

Kayode explained how lessons were learnt from Ebola especially the important role of Faith leaders in delivering the message to local communities.  Faith leaders are seen as trusted messengers of hope and truth and hence people are more likely to believe them.  He said, “so it is not only about the message but also the messenger.”

Inter-Religious Council raising awareness through a megaphone campaign in the local market.

Kayode thanked all for their support through prayer, support and fundraising – he gave lots of examples including:

  • Handmaid sisters at maternity clinic;
  • Providing clinic staff with PPE but also enabling them to continue providing basic health support. They work in very remote communities.
  • PPE – aprons, masks, wellies and eye protection;
  • Helping with livelihood – food;
  • Helping with suppling water and sanitising equipment for the many communities who don’t have water,
  • Visit vulnerable and quarantined communities by priests to provide important psychosocial support;

Caritas Gbarnga staff deliveringcleaning materials to vulnerable households.

Staff & patients at – Handmaid Sisters Maternity Clinic

He concluded by appealing for 3 things

  1. Prayers – especially for the safety and strength of their partners as they have to reach the most vulnerable.
  2. CAFOD advocacy for debt cancellation. Debt hinders Sierra leone and Liberia who are left with only a fraction of revenue for services. Sierra Leone has a debt of US$1.6 billion. The government has set aside US$50m to service the debt leaving a budget of US$68m dollars. If the debt was cancelled the government could use all its resources to help the people.
  3. Continuing to support Sierra Leone and Liberia with giving.  Partners rely on this to continue to reach even more remote communities, helping with livelihood and more services.

>> Add your voice to CAFOD’s Cancel the Debt campaign by clicking here

Deborah explained how this family fast day which will be on 9 October will be like no other and encouraged all to :

  • Hold the Fast Day collection at physical Masses on 10/11 October and at Masses during the week.
  • Make a short announcement at the end of Mass.
  • Put a notice in the (e)Newsletter advising that donations can be made online or via text.
  • Put up the poster in the porch or on an outdoor noticeboard.
  • Use a contactless device that CAFOD will provide.
  • Put envelopes out and a box for parishioners to place them in later.
  • Post on parish social media or websites – Fast Day information.

This is a Harvest like no other as many families face chronic food shortages, malnutrition and poverty as the result of coronavirus.  With our support, we can help people all over the world rebuild their lives.

>>  Click here to see the events for “a harvest like no other”

It was good that people felt energised and enthused to support this Fast day after the session.  Debbie ended by thanking all, “we can’t do our wonderful work without the help of our wonderful volunteers and supporters.  You are an inspiration!  Thank you so much!”

>> To contribute to this family fast day in support of the Coronavirus appeal,

 

Volunteer Fast Day briefing and CAFOD’s work in Ethiopia

The second of 3 Northampton CAFOD harvest briefings took place via zoom on 17 September.  We had 27 people attended from all over the diocese which was great!

Volunteers and Supporters join in Family Fast Day briefing

Deborah Purfield (CAFOD coordinator) thanked all for their support and shared how with their help, CAFOD has managed to raise over £2.5m for the Coronavirus appeal.  The following video was shared:

We were really blessed to have Conor Molloy, country representative of Ethiopia, to give an update of CAFOD’s response to the Coronavirus crisis in the country.

He gave us the shocking fact that in a country of 110 million people, there are now  65 – 70,000 COVID19 cases.   He stated that within the next 8 weeks the numbers were expected to go to up to 600,000!  The healthcare system is wholly inadequate and not everyone has access to clean water.  People cannot stay physically separate so social distancing not possible. Shutdowns occurred very early on and this included schools which are yet to re-open. This has affected education in the country.  Men have lost their jobs which has resulted in the inability to feed their families.  In a country where  8 million are already suffering from chronic food insecurity,  COVID19 as hadded 15.1 million to that figure!  To add to all that, the country has had to deal with the worst desert locust outbreak which has damaged crops.  Climate projections are not good for the next 6-12 months.

Yet, it was not all hopeless.  Due to CAFOD’s and other agencies’ support, people are were taught how to keep themselves safe by wearing PPE and washing their hands. Projects such as sustainable livelihood and Women Empowerment are still ongoing.

 

Educating the community in ways to keep safe

Simple and cheap way of hand washing

 

Conor was pleased to share how a simple and cheap way of providing water for hand washing is saving lives.

He thanked everyone for their help and asked for their continued prayers and support.  He said

“Never grow injured to poverty and injustice and never tire of the fight against them”

 

 

Deborah explained how this family fast day which will be on 9 October will be like no other and encouraged all to :

  • Hold the Fast Day collection at physical Masses on 10/11 October or at Masses during the week.
  • Make a short announcement at the end of Mass.
  • Put a notice in the (e)Newsletter advising that donations can be made online or via text.
  • Put up the poster in the porch or on an outdoor noticeboard.
  • Use a contactless device that CAFOD will provide.
  • Put envelopes out and a box for parishioners to place them in later.
  • Post on parish social media or websites – Fast Day information.

This is a Harvest like no other as many families face chronic food shortages, malnutrition and poverty as the result of coronavirus.  With our support, we can help people all over the world rebuild their lives.

>>  Click here to see the events for “a harvest like no other”

A lively discussion ensued as to how best to promote fast day in parishes and online.  After the session many fedback that they felt energised and enthused to support this Fast day which is so important if we are to help people all over the world rebuild their lives.

Volunteers and Supporters at CAFOD Family Fast Day briefing

Debbie ended by thanking all, “we can’t do our wonderful work without the help of our wonderful volunteers and supporters.  You are an inspiration!  Thank you so much!”

>> To contribute to this family fast day in support of the Coronavirus appeal,