Jeremy Cain, Community Participation Coordinator for Hallam, learns why people work and volunteer for CAFOD.
Livison Chipatiso, our Zimbabwe Programme Officer, could get a hundred easier jobs than the one he does for CAFOD. So what stops him? “It’s the smiles,” he told us last Friday at Holy Spirit church in Dronfield. “It’s the smiles that make it all worthwhile!”
He was talking about the reaction he gets whenever he visits people who have been helped by CAFOD’s support and the work of our partner, Caritas Zimbabawe. People like Marian, who can now feed her family nutritious food after we gave her the seeds, tools and support she needed to set up her own vegetable garden. She says, “I’m very grateful to CAFOD supporters for what they’ve done. You have been a bridge from a place of suffering to a better world. If I were to meet you, it would be such a blessing. I’d like to ask you, what drives you to give to others? Is it your kindness?”
It’s a question we put to the people who’d come to hear Livison speak. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it was a question they found difficult. With a bit of encouragement, though, we got some interesting answers: “CAFOD offers hope to us all, to our partners and recipients and to us here in England & Wales”; “CAFOD gives us a way to respond to the need of others and put our faith in action”; and “we trust CAFOD and where the money will end up.”
The responses certainly reflect the way we see ourselves: we’re about bringing people together, across continents, to share in the riches that God has given each of us, whether these are financial or otherwise. As Geoff O’Donoghue, our Director of Operations, said, on his recent visit to the diocese, “places of physical drought are rarely places of spiritual drought”.
During Lent, we’re called to work on our spirituality and sharing faith with people overseas can be inspiring. Take a look at our Lent calendar, which will allow you to do just that. Right now, though, we’d love you to join in our Family Fast Day. Coming up this Friday, it’s a chance give up a meal and give generously to help some of the poorest people in the world.
You can donate here knowing that whatever you can give will make a big impact: this Lent, your donation will make double the difference! For every pound you donate to
CAFOD, the UK Government will also donate a pound, up to a limit of £5 million. At no extra cost to you, twice the number of lives can be transformed; twice the number of children can have the opportunity to grow up healthy and strong. It’s enough to put a smile on your face!