A big thank you to all our supporters who joined us at our special meeting on Saturday! Over 50 people gathered together at St Bede’s in Basingstoke to meet one another, share experiences and find out more about the Lent Fast Day focus country Colombia.
A special word of thanks goes to our fantastic main speaker – Francis McDonagh, CAFOD’s Andes Programme Manager who explained the complexities of the small business programme featured in our Lenten materials and provided some much needed context on this beautiful but conflict riven country. His presentation can be downloaded here.
More background information on Colombia in the form of a very accessible slideshow – can be found here. Francis also shared his article on Colombia with us (which was originally written for The Universe) and this can be downloaded here. Sarah Davison (a colleague of Francis) has also written an article on her time spent with Amparo, who is of course featured on the Fast Day envelope, which can be downloaded here.
Furthermore additional information on the small business project can be obtained from here.
After Francis’ talk, we then reflected on the different ways we can give, pray and act in our communities this Lent and looked at a whole host of CAFOD resources designed to help us do just that. The presentation from this section can be downloaded from here.
All the Lent Fast Day resources (including the short film of Amparo shown on the day and further background notes on her story) can be found on the Give it up! microsite.
Somehow we also managed to pack in four workshops! All in the space of three hours! Thank you to Sophie Stanes (our Head of Community Fundraising) for her fundraising workshop and our fab volunteer Hugh Gibbons, who ran a workshop for speakers. Both sessions were rated highly in our evaluation forms.
Thank you all! Everyone’s energy and enthusiasm over the course of the day really made it special!
The final word has to go to Eurocafe (a CAFOD supported coffee cooperative that Francis talked about which also features in all the primary school materials this Lent).
Eurocafe very kindly gave us some coffee for supporters to taste and everyone was invited to send them some feedback which Francis will now pass on.
Many people wrote messages of support such as:
‘Gorgeous coffee – smooth and delicious. Thank you so much. I’m not normally a coffee drinker but I really liked yours! Thank you.’
‘Good coffee! Lots of flavour. I look forward to it arriving in English shops. Good luck’
‘Muy encelente! Muchas gracias desde todos aqui!’
‘Me gusta mucho su cafe. Muchas gracias’
‘Yum! Really smooth!’
‘Congratulations on production. A taste to sigh for!’
‘I don’t normally like coffee but your coffee was really nice and I really enjoyed it. Thank you so much! God bless and lots of love.’
‘As we drink our coffee, we are united with you in our thoughts and in our prayers. God bless you all.’
Further information on Eurocafe can be downloaded from here.
Thanks everyone for all your support and for a terrific day!