CAFOD’s emergency response to Irma, earthquakes and floods

Jenny Seymour is a volunteer for CAFOD Hallam

I’m sure there isn’t one of us who hasn’t been affected by the devastating scenes on the news recently as a result of Hurricane Irma and her deathly blow across the Carribean and Florida.  I am also sure that many of you, like me, will have friends or family over in those places affected by this destruction and have been glued to the TV or social media for news of your loved ones.

Florida map

My cousin, her husband and 3 sons have lived in Florida now for many many years and finally last week she posted “what with black bears, snakes, mosquitoes, hot sun and hurricanes….it’s time to move back!” (although I think I may prefer the hot sun!).  Whilst the strength of the hurricane had subsided slightly by the time it reached Orlando, they still had to hunker down, stay inside in a room with no windows,  move all their furniture and belongings to a safe place and get ready with their hurricane lights and candles.  They have now been without power for almost a week and they’re all suffering from “power envy” – when they hear that one of their fellow neighbours has had their power returned.  It’s actually good to see that in Florida (obviously one of the more developed nations to have been hit by Irma) they are all getting together to have “community cook outs” where those with power are inviting others to come and enjoy a warm  meal and drink and of course, food banks are serving an even greater need over there and people drop off their supplies at local churches.


Again, I find myself considering how lucky me and my family are to live where we do – we lost a few branches to “Aileen” earlier this week and this pales into comparison to the devastation elsewhere in the world.  The poor people of Barbuda and Anguilla have lost everything and have to build their lives again, as have the people in Oaxaca, Mexico after the earthquake that struck last week as well.  CAFOD has offered prayers and support to CARITAS Mexico, but they already have a strong emergency response capacity and CAFOD will be working through CARITAS Antilles which will cover the islands under their jurisdiction within the Carribean.


If you would like to donate to help the people who have suffered as a result of these horrific natural disasters, please click here to donate to CAFOD’s emergency response funds.  You can give a one off donation or set up a direct debit today!

Fun-Filled Barnsley Race Night

A fun-filled race night was held in Barnsley in support of aid agency CAFOD’s East Africa Crisis Appeal.

Barnsley Race Night

The race night was a big success

There were eight virtually simulated horse races at Holy Rood parish hall, raising over £2,000 for the emergency appeal.
Each race had a randomly selected outcome and there was an opportunity to back a jockey or a horse in the build up to the event.
Those in attendance were also able to guess the outcome of each sponsored contest, which brought in more donations.

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Mike’s Kilimanjaro Adventure

On the 7th Aug 2015, CAFOD Hallam volunteer and campaigner Mike Baldwin climbed Mount Kilimanjaro to raise funds for CAFOD and Women’s Aid. Through the generosity of his family, friends and parishioners he raised over £650, for which we are extremely grateful.

Here he tells us about his experience on this amazing adventure.

Since working as a volunteer teacher in Tanzania from May 1978 to December 1980, I’d always promised myself that, if fit enough, I’d have a go at climbing to the top of Africa when I was 60.

Well it actually happened and this review is better for the delay in writing, both for my thoughts to ripen and to reflect on such a fantastic experience.

Whilst there I frequently asked the questions, “Is this really happening?” “Am I really here?”

Now it’s frequently, “Did it really happen?” “Was I really there?”  The photos, bruised toes, certificate all prove it and I will be eternally grateful to “Ebony and Ivory” for providing such a memorable experience.

Mike5    Mike2

The pre-contacts and arrangements were first class with accurate and valuable advice about everything we’d need and once there were treated as VIP’s guests both on the mountain and before and after our climb, with the safari arrangements and trips into Arusha and the airport.

The last 3 days of the 8 day Lomosho route, were pretty hard but doable, just very tired at the end of each day, and I really wish I hadn’t left most of my ibuprofen in the hotel!

My knees were very painful on the last day’s descent. Diglan and Stuart gave a great balance of comfort and push throughout the climb and their determination that I’d get to the top helped me draw on hidden reserves of stamina and perseverance.

  Mike3    Mike4

It was also very moving for me being back in Tanzania and brought back many happy memories from my previous time there which will always be the most memorable experience in my life.

Africa is a pretty unique and special place and combined with climbing Africa’s highest mountain with a company so enthusiastic but so person-centred with both clients and staff, my return surpassed all expectations. So much so that I will be returning in 2018 with my son and his friends, probably a shorter route though!! My only regret is that I didn’t spend more time with the staff during the rest periods but this will be rectified in 2018.  One last tip, if you drink de-caff tea/coffee, bring some as you drink gallons of coffee and this, I suspect, was the main reason why I slept so badly.

Get fit and book NOW!

“Ebony and Ivory”, Good for the body and good for the soul!     Mike Baldwin