CAFOD Partners OKUP from Bangladesh will be at our Share the Journey Conference 12th May

Shamsun Nahar from OKUP

Shamsun Nahar from OKUP

At our Share the Journey Conference on Saturday 12th May at St Edward the Confessor church Chandler’s Ford SO53 2DU we will be able to hear about the work of one of our CAFOD partners based in Bangladesh called  OKUP . Ovibashi Karmi Unnayan Program (OKUP) is a community-based migrants organisation in Bangladesh which has been campaigning for gender justice, human rights, and non-discrimination towards returning migrant workers since 2004. OKUP has strong networks with communities at high risk of migration in Bangladesh and serves as a platform for migrants to have their voices heard at both national and international levels.

Three members of OKUP Sahkirul Islam, Omar Faruque and Sahmsun Nahar are visiting England in May and they have very kindly agreed to come to our conference on 12th May to tell us about their work and to meet CAFOD supporters. You can book for the conference on eventbrite or email portsmouth@cafod.org..uk 

Shakirul Islam is the Chairman of OKUP. Being a son of a migrant worker and the student of Social Science, Shakirul started working to defend the rights and welfare of migrant workers and their families in 2004. He is a social researcher and passionate about raising migrants’ voice within migration discourses from grassroots to international level.

Shakirul Islam

 

Omar Faruque Chowdhury is the founding Executive Director of OKUP. As a migrant worker he has firsthand experiences of abuse and exploitations in the migration cycle and upon return to Bangladesh he, along with a group of returnee migrants, established OKUP.

Omar Faruque Chowdhury

Omar Faruque Chowdhury

Shamsun Nahar is a returnee woman migrant worker. She was a domestic worker in Kuwait and then Malaysia. Being a victim of abuse and exploitation, Shamsun has participated in various OKUP activities. She is an elected Member of the OKUP Executive Committee since 2013.

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Annual Plant & Cake Sale in aid of Connect2 Ethiopia in Lyndhurst on 12th May

Henry and his team

Henry and his team

The Catholic Church in Lyndhurst is holding its eighth annual plant and cake sale on Sat 12th May from 10.00 till 12.00 at Dunelm Silver Street, Emery Down Lyndhurst SO43 7DX. All proceeds will go towards CAFOD’s project  Connect2 Ethiopia  which helps  vulnerable households with food and seeds, new water points and dams for irrigation.

Fiseha from Ethiopia

Fiseha from Ethiopia helping to build an irrigation canal

There will be masses of flower and vegetable plants for sale, a tombola and garden bric-à-brac stall.  The cake stall will be superb, and entry, which will include coffee/tea and cakes, is £2.

Henry Rosenvinge, organiser and co-host with his wife Nuala, says that this is a wonderful opportunity for people to meet, share refreshments and support CAFOD’s work in an area of perpetual drought and poverty, as well as to buy plants and cakes at very competitive prices. Last year the sale raised over £3,000, and it is hoped that with the New Forest residents usual generosity they will meet this target again!

Many thanks to Henry and his team of gardeners and bakers for all their hard work  and let’s hope the sun shines!

Reading Pupils Speak Up for Refugees.

All the finalists

All the finalists

Congratulations to the pupils from five Catholic primary schools across Reading who went head to head on the 19th April at the CAFOD Primary Public Speaking Final.

Teachers, parents and pupils from English Martyrs, St Paul’s, Christ the King, St Dominic Savio, and St Joseph’s College Prep gathered together at Reading Council Chambers to hear fourteen finalists give their talks on the plight of refugees and the Share the Journey campaign.

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The Judges on the night were John Ennis, Councillor, Stephen Hogg President of the local St Vincent de Paul Society and Francoise Mahoney a retired teacher from Blessed Hugh Faringdon Secondary school.The children all spoke clearly and passionately and with amazing  confidence it was a difficult task to choose on overall winner. So many thanks to the judges for supporting this event and giving up your time to attend the evening.

One of the speakers posed this question to the audience “How would you like it if you were forced to leave your home because of war or poverty..”

Another said” As Christians it is our duty to put others before ourselves and to serve others.”

Finally one of the speakers made a plea for people to support the “Share the Campaign to get world leaders to agree to ensure that we respect human dignity and protect the vulnerable”.

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The winner of the competition was a pupil from St Dominic Savio Primary in Woodley and St Joseph’s College prep won the overall school shield.

The Winner

The Winner

St Joseph College Prep

St Joseph College Prep

Many thanks to Linda Heneghan who organised the competition and prepared the children for it by visiting the schools. Linda is our CAFOD education volunteer in the Reading area and does amazing work with the schools so thank you so much for all you do! A HUGE THANK YOU to the judges  giving up your time to support the event.

Finally I would like to say a massive thank you and congratulations to all the children who took part  and to their school communities for supporting them.  I hope that the children will help CAFOD achieve its target of walking around the world (24,900 miles) and organise a Share the Journey walk in their schools. So do send me some photos of your walks.