CAFOD’s Coronavirus Emergency Appeal – we need your support

Distribution of food and hand washing equipment in Kenya

Distribution of food and hand washing equipment in Kenya

Last Thursday we  launched an urgent appeal to respond to the unprecedented global challenge of tackling the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in some of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable communities.

To donate please click here

“Coronavirus is a tsunami heading towards the homes of millions of poor communities who have nothing to protect themselves from its devastating impacts,” said Christine Allen, CAFOD’s Director.

Aside from the many deaths that are likely due to infections, millions of people around the world who already struggle to feed their families will face extreme hunger as jobs are lost and markets shut down because of coronavirus.

“The potential scale of the pandemic across Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East – as well as among refugee and displaced populations in places such as Syria, South Sudan and the Rohingya camps in Bangladesh – is truly frightening.

Raising awareness in Afghanistan

Raising awareness in Afghanistan

“These are vulnerable families who are unprepared to fight this virus and are being pushed to the brink of hunger and poverty,” said Allen.

CAFOD is scaling up its support to local aid experts who are providing food and improving handwashing and sanitation facilities in communities and households. It is also helping churches use their networks to share hygiene messages through Catholic radio stations, and producing posters in local dialects on infection prevention.

“We have a narrow window of opportunity to reach communities with the basics for life – food and clean water, and the messages they need on how best to keep safe”, said Allen.

Distribution of PPE in Zimbabwe

Distribution of PPE in Zimbabwe

“Our local aid experts are already responding and trying to alleviate what is likely to be a catastrophe in terms of hunger, poverty and death as a result of this pandemic”.

According to the UN over a third of households in Africa have no access to hand washing facilities, and almost another third has limited access with either no water or soap. Millions of lives are at risk, with estimates that between 300,000 and 3.3 million people could lose their lives as a direct result of coronavirus (UN Economic Commission for Africa COVID-19 in Africa Report, 2020).

“Trust is essential for winning over communities, changing behaviours, and reducing the spread of coronavirus,” said Allen.

“We will maximise the reach of the global Catholic Church aid network, particularly in Africa – where a third of healthcare is provided by the Catholic Church, and trusted faith and community leaders are known in their communities”.

Training faith leaders in Sierra Leone

Training faith leaders in Sierra Leone

“We must not wait until we see the terrible headlines about millions of people whose lives have been lost to the coronavirus,” said Allen. “Donations have never been more urgent, providing steadfast support to those who are in greatest need”.

“We can all be infected by the virus, but this crisis has revealed just how unequal our world and society are. Its economic and social impacts will be long-lasting and most devastating for the poorest. That is why we are calling for the cancellation of debt owed by some of the world’s poorest countries so that they can finance their response to coronavirus, shore up fragile health systems, and relaunch their economies.

“It is our collective actions now that will make all the difference and save countless lives,” concluded Allen.

Pope Francis in his ‘Urbi et orbi’ (Easter message) called on the world not to “yield to fear” regarding the spread of the coronavirus, but to unite and take action, “…because the challenge we are facing is shared by all without distinguishing between persons”.

To donate please click here

Thank you for your support.

Join me and take part in the 26 challenge and raise money for CAFOD’s Coronavirus Response

 

Family walk at Christmas

Family walk at Christmas

Myself and my daughter Anna -Maria have decided to take part in the 26 challenge on Sunday 26th April  to raise money for CAFOD’s Coronavirus Response.   Sunday 26th April was meant to be the day of the London Marathon but instead of the marathon the 2.6 challenge has been set up encouraging people to do a challenge around the  number 26 or 2.6. So we have decided to do 26,000 steps as we both have a fit bit . I try to do around 8,000 steps a day but this has been difficult since the lock down and my daughter regularly went to her gym to keep fit. She lives in London so we will do the challenge virtually and send each other photos of how we are doing.

To sponsor us please visit our just giving page  https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/jo-and-anna-maria-s-2-6-challenge 

We are raising money for CAFOD’s Coronavirus Repsonse because we know how fortunate we are to have the wonderful NHS, but in many countries where CAFOD works the health care system is fragile, and as people need to work to eat  they are unable to stay at home . As Kayode shared in the webinar about Sierra Leone on Tuesday for many people living in poverty the choice is either to risk catching COVID19 or let their families starve!

So if you are able to please give to CAFOD’s appeal to support our brothers and sisters around the world in these difficult times.

Many thanks from Jo     CPC CAFOD Portsmouth

Anna-Maria

Anna-Maria

 

Me

Our “Step into the Gap” volunteer Kezia Harrow reflects on her overseas trip.

Kezia Harrow

Kezia Harrow

Kezia Harrow , our Step into the Gap volunteer based at St Cassian’s Retreat Centre in Kintbury reflects on her recent trip to visit CAFOD projects in the Holy Land.

“I still don’t think I have fully accepted and come to terms with what I have experienced in the last couple of months. To think back and remember that I was in Israel and Palestine in January is mind-blowing. The experience, CAFOD and their partners provided me was outstanding. I feel so lucky to have been able to view the Holy Land in the perspective that I have…. the true realty of living in the Holy Land.

Meeting five different CAFOD partners was incredible. To see how they run their organisations and that one of CAFOD’s values, partnership is at the forefront of everything they do was beautiful to see. True partnership, people, agencies helping, learning and guiding each other. Personally in our world today I think we don’t always see true examples of partnership and are led to believe that partnership is all about taking. Witnessing how CAFOD and its partners use the value of partnership encourages me that the value is being executed in the way it should be.

My international visit was challenging on many levels but I have been given an experience, memories and thoughts that will last a life time. I would honestly encourage anyone who is passionate about social justice to apply for the Step into the Gap programme. Be bold, grab the opportunity that CAFOD’s Step into the Gap programme provides you with! It is an opportunity that I have been blessed with but you could be the future CAFOD participants of the Step into the Gap programme.”

Kezia Harrow speaking at St Joseph's in Newbury

Kezia Harrow speaking at St Joseph’s in Newbury

Kezia is very happy to come and talk about her trip to the Holy Land to parishes and schools so do contact me if you would like her to come to your parish or CAFOD group.