CAFOD is an aid and development agency dedicated to improving the lives of the poorest in our world. In the UK we work to educate people about the causes of poverty, inspire them to campaign to address issues of social justice and inequality, and support them in fundraising activities. Overseas we work with local partners in 40 countries in South America, Africa and Asia to deliver long-term development projects and emergency aid. CAFOD's headquarters are in London and CAFOD Hallam is the local office for Sheffield and the surrounding area.
Parishioners from local villages and surrounding areas of Spinkhill in the diocese of Hallam, have fundraised over £1000K to support communities around the world to access water and grow climate change-resistant crops to help feed their families. The parishioners held their usual Harvest fast day parish collection and then added to it proceeds from their annual parish dinner. Each year a dinner is organised to mark the anniversary of the church opening in 1846, almost 175 years ago. This enables the community to come together and celebrate, and at the same time has raised much needed funds for CAFOD’s misson.
CAFOD is working with communities around the world to give them the tools to lift themselves out of poverty. This approach has already borne results in places like rural Uganda. With many communities having been devastated by drought, children would trek miles for water, risking their safety and hampering their chance to get an education. Donations from parishioners across England and Wales have helped to install solar-powered water pumps in rural villages. Now everyone can collect water quickly and safely and focus on cultivating their crops, which will help create a sustainable source of income for the whole community.
CAFOD’s local rep in the diocese of Hallam, Angela Powell, said “From everyone at CAFOD, we would like to say a massive thank you to the community of Immaculate Conception for organising this brilliant event. Their compassion and generosity will help communities around the world to grow and prosper.”
There is still time for others to donate to our Harvest Appeal just visit http://www.cafod.org.uk/harvest get in touch with us at the volunteer centre in Hallam diocese.
Heating Our Common Home! The sun shone warmly as CAFOD supporters, along with members of Christian Aid and Sheffield Wildlife Trust, met with Louise Haigh MP for Sheffield Heeley to discuss the actions needed to urgently address the problems of Climate Change.
This hard-working MP was knowledgeable about the issues and shared links and advice to help with campaigning at local, national and international levels as well as committing to keep raising the issues herself, whenever possible amidst Brexit, when Parliament resumes on 3rd September.
We talked about the fact that aid money should not be used to support fossil fuel projects. Instead of lifting people out of poverty, this aid money is burdening poorer nations with outdated technology which will only make the climate crisis worse. Instead, it should go towards local renewable energy projects that we know benefit the poorest communities. It is important to tweet or write via our MPs to Mr Alok Sharma, the Minister for the Department for International Development (DfID) with our concerns. Louise also spoke of the need to safeguard the 0.7% GDP that funds the Overseas Aid budget and ensure this is not subverted for the UK’s self-interests. Our MPs need letters from us to show them that we care about these issues! If you are interested in writing to your MP about this and other issues, please consider becoming an MP Correspondent with CAFOD. You can help ensure the voices of those living in poverty are heard in Parliament, just sign up here.
We also need to make changes in our own lives to better care for creation. Despite the UK’s commitment to the Paris Agreement targets to minimise temperature rises to 1.5À°C, if some private companies continue unchanged, they alone could exceed the agreed levels of carbon emissions. 80% of fossil fuels need to stay in the ground if climate targets are to be met. As a group we discussed what Pension Fund managers are doing about this. Current investment returns rely on the expectations that these reserves will be tapped, and the oil/gas sold. How will investors be compensated if this becomes legally impossible? What are their plans to move to growth assets in low carbon infrastructure? Following our meeting we have decided to write to our pension fund managers to query investments held in companies promoting fossil fuels. Closer to home we are going to look at how we source and use our own domestic energy.
We were pleased to see that recently the Bishops have signed a contract to supply renewable energy to over 4000 UK Catholic churches and schools. Join in responding to Pope Francis’ call to Care for Creation by making changes in your home too by switching your energy supplier to a green energy provider – as well as remembering to switch things off when not needed! If you’ve not done so already, have a Creation Celebration Mass in your parish. There are plenty of resources to help from CAFOD, Share food, ideas, films and fun to encourage each other to take more steps forward together to care for our common home.
Everyone loves visiting other people’s gardens and the weekend of 29th and 30th June is an opportunity to see some of Castleton’s Secret Gardens. There’s another reason too. Maria Kenyon, a CAFOD volunteer, not only opens her hillside garden but the Hope Valley CAFOD Group serves tea, coffee and very excellent cakes. This year the money raised will go to the Cyclone Idai Appeal. Please come along and visit all of the gardens (tickets at the Post Office) or just pop along to The Stones, Castleton where Maria and co will give you a warm welcome.