Jean and I are the CAFOD focal points for Christ The King. We try to promote CAFOD’s role within the parish, and an important part of this is providing information that may be useful or helpful to any who wish to find out about CAFOD’s work. We will use this spot on the parish web-site to say a bit more about events or campaigns, or meetings that we have attended, and try to give a picture that’s fuller than can be put in the bulletin or pinned to the noticeboard. We hope you find it interesting and, maybe, useful. We’ll update it weekly or fortnightly and would welcome any thoughts or questions you may have in response – our number is 419439. Mark Wallis
Harvest Family Fast Day is rapidly approaching, and it may be worth looking back at earlier appeals to see what has been achieved. The CAFOD Lent appeal this year, for instance, raised £4million – a life-changing amount that will be doubled by the government to help start nutrition projects in Zimbabwe, Eritrea and Zambia. Donations made during the Family Fast Days can do so much. Last year, CAFOD went back to a village in Binga district, Zimbabwe, to see the impact made by a borehole funded by the 2012 Lent appeal. There is now a reliable water supply in the village, and CAFOD also provided families with seeds and tools so they could benefit from the supply by growing vegetables. Around 600 people now use the borehole every day for drinking, cooking and washing.
Water is a basic need, yet every minute a newborn baby dies from diseases linked to unsafe water, leaving families devastated. And, as is often the case, it is the poorest who suffer the most. Longora lives with her family in Karamoja, a remote region of north-eastern Uganda. The people in this area live in very simple homes, without power. Most of the community grows its own food, and water comes from a nearby pump. Three years ago, Longora was pregnant and her village was suffering from a drought in which animals were dying and people starving. “When our pump broke down, we had to go the river”, recalls Longora. She and her husband both contracted Hepatitis E from the water. Longora gave birth after contracting the virus, and her baby boy died soon afterwards.
Since that time, CAFOD supporters have enabled their partner agency, Caritas Moroto, to repair the pump. Longora’s family now have clean water to drink. With other women in the village, she helps to maintain the pump. This Fast Day, if we eat a little less, we can help families like Longora’s to thrive. If we give what we save, we could help build a pump for an entire community.