Sacred Heart Leighton Buzzard shines out for Power to Be

When the Justice and Peace group at Sacred Heart Leighton buzzard heard about the Power to Be campaign, they wanted to promote it in their parish and beyond.

Andrew Selous MP joins in the Speak Up Week of Action in Leighton Buzzard

With the support of the parish priest Fr John Danford, the group organised a walk during the week of action where they invited their MP Andrew Selous to attend and to let him know what mattered to them.

Thereafter, they organised a card signing petition to call on the World Bank to ensure renewable energy access for the world’s poorest people

>> Add your voice to the online petition

Fr John Danford promoting Power to Be

But they didn’t stop there. In order to make a bigger impact, Fr John cut out some “sun rays” and asked parishioners to write messages on them. 

It could be to the World Bank, a promise to save energy or a prayer.  With his usual flare, Fr John designed a very innovative “Power to Be sun” which he was very proud of.  It now hangs for all to see.  What artistic talent especially with the solar panel sunglasses!

 

A really wonderful support and example of solidarity with our brothers and sisters living in poverty! Thank you Sacred Heart Leighton Buzzard.

 

Voices shining brightly – Sacred Heart Leighton Buzzard

> Find out more about our campaigns

 

Triathlon for Syria

For most university students, the summer is a time to take a much deserved break from study, relax, earn a bit of money, do some travelling and catch up with old school friends. But for Michael Jones, it is also an opportunity to put faith to action whilst having fun. On the 3 September, Michael is taking part in the Reading Triathlon 2017 and has chosen to raise funds for CAFODS’ Syria Appeal.

We asked Michael what inspired him to do the Triathlon and fundraise for CAFOD. This is what he told us:

Triatlon

I am an active person and wanted a physical and mental challenge for the summer before returning to university. I saw this as a perfect opportunity to raise money for charity, specifically one that supports Syria and its saddening crisis. I was deeply touched by the news coverage on the war and its devastating effect on men, women and particularly children. It made me aware of just how privileged I am to have a safe home, good health and endless opportunities. Since I was a young boy I have been involved in various CAFOD campaigns through my parish and school, so CAFOD was an obvious choice.

 

Michael aims to raise £1500. Any donations can be made online via this website and will be gratefully received. Please give generously if you can!

We will be following Michael closely and will report back in September, so watch this space!

>> For more fundraising ideas see our fundraising page

Country Reps share their stories

We held a day of reflection and sharing on the theme of encounter and dialogue which volunteers and staff together with three Country Reps (CR):

  • Dominic Carroll – CR for Bangladesh and Afghanistan based in London,
  • Kayode Akintola – CR for Sierra Leone and Liberia based in Freetown
  • Conor Molloy – CR for Ethiopia based in Addis Ababa.

It was a great opportunity to share stories and experiences and learning about our partners and their communities.

>> Find out more about CAFOD’s work

Susy Brouard from theology facilitated the day and we started off with reflecting on the gospel passage and paintings of the anointing of the Jesus’ feet.  Our three CRs were then invited to share stories

Kayode shares his stories

Kayode mentioned how difficult it was for him to return to Sierra Leone with his family when the Ebola crisis happened. What changed his mind was the local people saying to him “are you going to abandon us too?”  as most people had.  He was moved to return and help them.

 

 

Conor explained how CAFOD’s work was not only dealing with the drought in Ethiopia but also very much involved in dialogue with the tribes who were fighting each other in the south – peace building. He also spoke of spoke of capacity building there.

Conor listens to Volunteers

It was also really good to hear how, due to the support from charities like CAFOD, the number of deaths due to drought in Ethiopia has fallen significantly over the years, from over 1 million in 1984 to about 23 in 2010.  Droughts still exist but due to capacity building and disaster risk reduction techniques mortality rates have fallen significantly!

 

Dominc hears from staff and volunteers

Dominic was thrilled to informed the group that caritas Bangladesh had recently been invited to be a member of the START network with CAFOD’s support as CAFOD is a member.  This means that they can now go directly and access funds from donors without going via CAFOD hence empowering them!  Fabulous!

 

 

We shared our stories in groups and after a shared lunch all three CRs shared more of their very interesting stories after we had reflection on the Gospel story of the Canaanite woman.

Rose with the country reps Conor, Kayode and Dominic

Rose Bluett (Volunteer coordinator for Luton) and Cath Palsz (Parish volunteer – Our Lady of Peace Burnham) who were present said they felt it was a very interesting and worthwhile day with a lot of food for thought.