One of our Longest standing Volunteers

CAFOD has wonderful volunteers and one such person is 83 year old Agnes Milne from St Mary’s parish Dunstable.  Isabelle (a fellow volunteer) writes about Agnes :

Agnes Milne

With a strong passion for Africa, Agnes Milne embarked on her journey to Uganda before CAFOD actually began. In Uganda, as a Geography teacher with young Christian students, she enjoyed being a part of the Overseas development. Word of a Catholic movement to help improve conditions for those who live in poverty overseas sparked Agnes’ initial interest.

Agnes got involved with CAFOD in its early days and has been a strong force in getting the voice of the voiceless heard. Knowing that campaigning can tackle the root causes of poverty, Agnes has been involved in many campaigns such as the Jubilee 2000 petition, calling for an end to the crippling debt facing many of the world’s poorest countries.  This succeeded in cancelling US$110 billion worth of debt owed by poor countries!  She was also involved with the Make Poverty History campaign in 2005 and many others.

Agnes campaigning at Westminster with her family

The decision to volunteer was “the cheerfulness and the wonderful reception” she received from CAFOD and how “the volunteers were so committed and dedicated in their role.”  What stood out for Agnes as a portrayal of CAFOD’s work was the fact that they “work in partnership and direct the money to where it is needed most which empowers and brings great joy to the community to help them out of poverty.”

Agnes has been a long-standing parishioner of St Mary’s in Dunstable and involved in many aspects of parish life. She is a campaigner and MP Correspondent as well as the parish volunteer for CAFOD.  She sits on the Justice and Peace commission for the diocese.

Agnes is often seen encouraging others to be involved and this has led to youth and Brownies fund-raisers with young people giving the fast day talk in the parish and attending the Supporters’ day.

Thank you Agnes for all you have done and continue to do to support CAFOD’s work. You are a shining example to us all !

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Turvey Abbey in solidarity with refugees

Frank Sudlow with Sr Esther from Turvey Abbey and her Icon of the Feeding of the five thousand

Frank Sudlow with Sr Esther and her Icon of the Feeding of the five thousand

The community at Turvey Abbey and those who attend mass there have been amazing in all they have done to support CAFOD’s work over the years.  They have not only supported with donations but with campaigning and art as well. Sr Ester, who just celebrated her golden Jubilee (congrats Sr !) and who designed the icon for CAFOD depicting the Feeding of the Five Thousand, has been fantastic in promoting campaigns and brother John always mentions CAFOD at the end of Sunday mass to give those present an opportunity to support CAFOD’s work.

Sr Ester reflected, “there is so much hurt in the world and if we can do anything to help, we would want to play our part” . Sr Ester was keen to show solidarity with refugees by encouraging the community as well as those attending mass at Turvey Abbey, to write messages of hope to refugees after she heard about the story of the Lampedusa Cross.

Sr Ester and Tony hand out Lampedusa cards

Sr Ester and Tony hand out Lampedusa cards after mass

Antony Smith who has been the CAFOD volunteer at Turvey abbey for many years and who has been promoting CAFOD’s Connect 2 scheme there was also moved when hearing about the refugee crisis and was keen to promote the Lampedusa action cards as a way of being in solidarity with the refugees.

Both Sr Ester and Tony handed out cards for people to write messages of hope on. People were so open and generous as well and many completed the Gif Aid envelopes to make their donations go even further (by 20%).

A massive Thank You to all at Turvey who support the work of CAFOD. You have been absolutely great !

All resources for the Year of Mercy and for ordering the Lampedusa cards online can be downloaded.  For those who would like to borrow the actual Lampedusa Cross (which is in our cathedral), please get in touch directly with the cathedral.

Green for Life project in Uganda

DSCF2855My husband and I recently returned from visiting a CAFOD project organised by Fr Deogratias in Hoima Uganda. He has set up a Green for Life project with a grant received from CAFOD. He also has a Piggery project which is partly funding by our parish of St Teresa in Princes Risborough.

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The aim of the Green for Life project is to educate young people about Climate change and the need to protect the environment. Young people, schools, and households will be educated about utilizing and protecting the environment whilst supporting the creation of green zones by planting trees. The project will make a contribution towards reforestation and natural resource protection around Hoima.

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The project was started in April 2016 with a grant of £3,000 from CAFOD. Six different tree seed varieties have been planted.  When the seeds germinate they are separated out in to single seedling and placed in a small pots.  When the seedlings are big enough they will be given free of charge to schools for the children to plant to prevent deforestation as wood is the main source of energy used for cooking . Some of the plants will be sold to sustain the project.

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Fr Deogratias gave us the names of the trees planted : Eucalyptus, Musizi (a hardwood which can take 20 years to mature!), Mahogany, Mirira (soft wood), Muvla (hardwood).

My husband and I were so inspired by all Fr Deogratias has done in such a short time and his efforts in tackling Climate change in is home town.

For more information about what you can do to help, visit our One Climate One World campaign site

Written by Marie Pennell