Leah, one of our CAFOD media staff went along to the New Forest to meet the event organisers of the biggest CAFOD plant sale.
“On Friday afternoon I arrived at Charcoal Cottage, right by the New Forest, to meet Henry and Nuala Ronsenvinge, as they rush around the house and garden, filled with fantastic smelling cakes, hundreds of plants and CAFOD banners everywhere.
“Spending a weekend with the couple I could really see how much impact one community on the other side of the world can have on another – both bringing so much joy and hard work, it was an incredibly humbling experience. It is events like this, which truly shows what CAFOD is about – their supporters and their volunteers.” Become a volunteer
Henry Rosenvinge, an ex-doctor who was not ready to stop helping people once he retired started volunteering at his parish, giving talks about CAFOD and their work at mass during Lent and Harvest. Henry’s parish, became involved in Connect 2 a number of years ago. Firstly they were involved with Connect2 Rwanda and then started raising money for Connect 2 Ethiopia.
Henry’s daughter, a HIV and AIDS consultant, Melanie worked some years ago with a community in Rwanda. It was her first hand experiences, which inspired her parents to take action.
Set in an idyllic part of the New Forest, 21 volunteers gathered at 9am on Saturday 21st of May, in the bleak rain, to raise vital funds for one of the most vulnerable communities in Ethiopia.
Sebeya is a village in the dry, arid north of Ethiopia. Some parts of the village a coping with a severe drought, which is devastating this farming community who rely on rain-fed farming for their survival. There is little access to clean and running water, and to roads and transportation.
Through Connect2, some families have been able to build reservoirs and water pipes to keep their fields green and improve the harvests. They have also built up alternative money-making and food producing activities such as bee-keeping and poultry farming.
Henry said: “It’s nice to know that every flower and cake we sell, will help improve the lives of those across the world.”
Jill and Mel, two incredibly enthusiastic volunteers refused to let the rain deter them, as they set up a cosy burrow for the customers, cakes, bakes, flapjacks and bread, all brilliantly baked by Nuala and the Emery Down community.
Thankyou so much to our wonderful volunteers in Emery Down, Lyndhurst, who held such a fantastic plant and cake sale, it would definitely give Chelsea Flower Show a run for its money!
“The moment we all realised we had smashed last years target by £500 was a highlight.”