Excess for Ethiopia – Connect 2

Sacred Heart – Leighton Buzzard have come up with great ideas to support CAFOD’s work over the years both with fundraising and campaigning. Their latest venture was an ingenious one for Sebeya (in Ethiopia) as the parish is part of the Connect 2 scheme.

Bob Garrard (CAFOD volunteer and part of the Justice and peace group) writes:

J&P group prepares for “Excess for Ethiopia”

“During the summer months Sacred Heart parishioners here in Leighton Buzzard have been blessed with a good crop of fruit and vegetables. We had been thinking how we could help our brothers and sisters in Sebeya, Ethiopia, with whom we are linked through CAFOD’s Connect2 Ethiopia scheme.  Mary (member of the J&P group) had the brilliant idea that by making jams and other products from our harvest excess we could sell them to raise money for the community in Sebeya.  We cannot not send them perishable food, but can support them with funds to buy seeds and provide irrigation.  This would really empower them to grow their own food.

>> Find out more about the Connect 2 Scheme

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Sacred Heart (Leighton Buzzard) Connects2 Ethiopia

Connect 2 Ethiopian evening

Connect 2 Ethiopian evening

On 23rd September we were delighted to hold an evening event in our lovely church hall to commence our parish connection with our partner parish in Ethiopia via the Connect 2 scheme for parishes.  We had researched recipes for the meal and put up decorations to give the Ethiopian feel which together with Ethiopian music really created a wonderful atmosphere.  We were happy to welcome our speaker, Nana Anto-Awuakye (CAFOD’s World news manager).

Ethiopian greeting

Ethiopian greeting

Nana who had recently returned from her visit to Ethiopia started off the evening by getting us all to greet each other in the Ethiopian way.

She then reported on the effects of the current drought, showed us some photos of the people and spoke of the importance of maintaining the dignity of those most affected.  She said that that most important requirement of respect was listening to their needs and what they said was helpful to them was the issuing of cash to those in need.  This has the effect of allowing the local economy to continue rather than be unable to function due to aid supplies supplanting it.  Interestingly, and realistically, the cash is given to the women. Their reliability in ensuring the money is used to relieve suffering is recognised in a similar way to the first micro-banks such as Grameen.

Ethiopian food

Ethiopian food


The food was then served and the research paid dividends as the dishes were much-appreciated, so much so that we will collect them to publish in our parish magazine. The Defo Dabo bread was especially appreciated and the Honey Yeast Bread (more like pancakes) were excellent.  Several of them will become staples for me!  The drinks included red wine which is a favourite in Ethiopia, I suspect due to their period of Italian colonisation. Of course there was Ethiopian coffee to end the evening, but served in somewhat larger cups than those shown to us by Nana.

dscn3279We not only raised an amazing £300 for C2 Ethiopia (with over £242 being gift-aided and thus increasing the total amount to over £360!). but informed parishioners how important carefully-targeted help is in enabling the retention of the local economy in times of severe duress.


Written by Yvonne Edwards


Sacred Heart Leighton Buzzard holds Ethiopian Evening


The J&P group at Sacred Heart Leighton Buzzard are planning to hold another themed event after their very successful Philippines evening. This time it is an Ethiopian Evening focusing on Connect2  Ethiopia  and the food crisis.  Nana Anto-Awuakye  (CAFOD’s world news manager) will be giving a talk about her experiences in Ethiopia before the meal.

Ethiopian spices

Date : 23  September

Time : 7 – 9 pm

Venue : Sacred Heart Hall , 5 Beaudesert, Leighton Buzzard LU7 1HZ

Tickets required.  Suggested donation £7.50. Please email dpurfield@cafod.org.uk for details.