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.

CAFOD offers an antidote to unhappiness

Jeremy Cain, Community Participation Coordinator for Hallam diocese, tries to raise a smile on Blue Monday.

Victor Meldrew

Victor Meldrew’s favourite day?

Today is Blue Monday, supposedly the most depressing day of the year. So, in a highly unscientific study, I scanned people’s faces on the train this morning to find out if this could be true. After careful consideration, I decided they didn’t look any more miserable than usual, though given it was a wet Monday morning and our train was late, even the slightest smile would have been more out of place than a pork chop at a vegan BBQ.

Thinking about it, though, my wife had looked pretty miserable before I’d left the house. Apparently she hadn’t slept well and it was her first day back at work after Christmas, but maybe Blue Monday was also working its hidden curse! Anyway, I cheered her up with a breezy “stop whinging and pull yourself together”, after which, I imagine, everything was much better.

Radical happiness

Give me joy in my heart!

Joking aside, depression is, of course, a serious thing. Mind, the mental health charity reports that, in England, 1 in 6 people say they experience a common mental health problem, such as anxiety and depression, in any given week. So the title of a book by academic Lynne Segal caught my eye recently: “Radical Happiness: Moments of Collective Joy.” I haven’t read the book but, from what I gather, her basic argument is that we can find deep happiness by working with others to bring about social change.

Though Segal isn’t a Catholic, both her language and her argument could be. What’s more, her prescription for unhappiness is exactly what we at CAFOD are trying to do. No wonder CAFOD staff and volunteers always have a smile on their face! Right now, we’re calling on people to get involved with our “Share the Journey” campaign. Actually, strictly speaking, it’s not our campaign at all but has been inspired by Pope Francis’ special concern for people on the move.

Share the Journey 3At the moment, we’re inviting people to sign our petition but, later in the year, we’ll be asking people to go for a walk together in an act of solidarity with our sisters and brothers who have been forced to flee from their homes. We’re aiming to walk 24,901 miles – the distance around the whole world- and we hope that every step we take together will send a message to world leaders that they must step up too. Join us and share the joy!

Share the Journey 2




Fun Sheffield Games Night For Connect2

A Sheffield fundraising group strengthened their links to communities across the world with a fun games night. P1010050

Around 50 people of all ages gathered at Sacred Heart Hall in Hillsborough for a night of quizzes, raffles, bingo and exotic food.

More than £500 was raised for CAFOD’s Connect2 scheme by the Sheffield North Deanery. Connect2 links communities in England and Wales with people in Brazil, Ethiopia, El Salvador, Cambodia and Peru.

Connect2 is built on CAFOD’s values of solidarity and partnership, where parishes in the UK are able to stand alongside communities overseas to fight against poverty and injustice.

The money raised was sent to Puentecitos in El Salvador which Sheffield North Deanery, a collection of a dozen churches, is linked to.

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