CAFOD is putting smiles on people’s faces

Livison Chipatiso

Livison Chipatiso, CAFOD’s Zimbabwe Programme Officer

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?”

Svondo Magumise

Svondo Magumise, Marian’s son

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”.

Holy Spirit FD18 event

CAFOD supporters speaking to Livison at Holy Spirit

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!



Zimbabwe Programme Officer Livison Chipatiso speaks on Family Fast Day

Livison ChipatisoLivison Chipatiso, our Zimbabwe Programme Officer, is coming to the UK during Lent to explain how vital your donations are this Family Fast Day.

Did you know that up to 70% of the population of Zimbabwe live below the poverty line? Or that as many as 95% of them are unemployed? As a result, hunger and malnutrition are widespread and many people’s daily lives are simply a struggle to find enough to eat.

In partnership with the local Catholic church, through Caritas Zimbabwe, we are working hard to help, and Livison is right on the front line of that effort. He’ll be able to give us a first-hand insight into exactly what we’re doing and the impact it’s having, as well as answer any questions you may have.

UK AidIt’s great he can be with us, especially this year when UK aid has, once again, agreed to match any donations you make up to £5 million. We have a fantastic opportunity to double our impact and help so many more of the people Livison works with.

Everyone is welcome to meet him in either Chesterfield or Sheffield:

  • Friday 16th February 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. in Holy Spirit church hall, 4 Stonelow Rd., Dronfield, Derbyshire, S18 2EP. A light lunch will be provided.
  • All weekend Masses at St. William of York, Ecclesall Rd., Sheffield, S11 8TL on Saturday 17th (6.30 p.m.) and Sunday 18th (9.30 a.m. and 11.15 a.m.). Livison will also be around for a chat over some sandwiches after the 11.15 a.m. Mass.

If you can’t make it to hear Livison, Jeremy will be speaking about the fast day in the following places:

  • Gerard’s, Doncaster Road, Thryburgh, Rotherham, S65 4AD. Wednesday 7th February after midday Mass. Soup will be provided.
  • Helen’s, Main Street, Oldcotes, Worksop, S81 8JF. Sunday 11th February during the 9 a.m. Mass.
  • Peter in Chains, Chequer Road, Doncaster, DN1 2AA. Sunday 18th February after the 10 a.m. Mass.

This is definitely a second-best option but will still give you a good understanding of how our work is enabling people to escape from poverty.

We’d love to see you.

What are you doing to Brighten Up this Harvest Fast Day?

Jenny Seymour is a Schools Volunteer in CAFOD Hallam and is asking schools to Brighten up this Harvest Fast Day

Tomorrow (Friday October 6th) is CAFOD’s Harvest Fast Day.  Following the huge success of our previous fast day campaigns, we are asking school children and their teachers to “Brighten Up” for Harvest and we have had some amazing results!


Some children are wearing their brightly coloured PE t-shirts (as they are all in bright colours to signify their “house”) and other schools have truly embraced the Brighten Up theme and are having a sponsored “colour splash” – I am told this involves bright coloured powder paint and a very brave headteacher!!!  You can download your very own fundraising kit – with sponsorship forms and press release templates here.

This year’s assembly is great, as it sees us revisit the children of El Salvador that were in need of CAFOD’s help some years ago and it shows how CAFOD (with your support) has helped their communities (and in turn them as individuals) to grow out of poverty and be in a much better place to achieve their dreams!


What are you and your school doing to brighten up the world this Harvest Fast Day?  Please do post your photos on our facebook page and don’t forget to tag us on your twitter feeds!


Schools volunteers will be visiting schools this half term and delivering the harvest fast day assembly – Book a Harvest Fast Day visit now!