Farnborough Hill Young Leaders Walk for Water

Hello, we are the Young Leaders from Farnborough Hill and we wanted to let you know how we got on with the Walk for Water challenge.
As you know, the original campaign CAFOD put forward was for everybody to walk 10,000 steps a day. However we decided to put a twist on the challenge and incorporate Farnborough Hill and our Founding RCE Sisters into the campaign.

We created a competition between the year groups to see who could walk the distance equivalent from Farnborough Hill to America, passing checkpoint locations along the way significant to our Sisters and the Religious of Christian Education. For example, one checkpoint was ‘Our Lady’s School’ in Dublin which was one of the many schools our Sisters’ founded. The furthest checkpoint was Asheville, North Carolina, which was the end goal that we encouraged everyone to try and reach. This challenge not only meant that we walked in solidarity with those who must journey great distances to collect clean water, but we also thought about how our Sisters would have felt, when they left their homes and followed God’s call to educate young women.

This challenge took place during Lent and last week in assembly we announced the winners. In third place was Year 7 who walked a total distance of 225 km. In second place was Sixth Form who walked 600 km and the winners were the staff who walked an impressive combined total of 1200 km. As for donations, our goal was to raise £750 and we are so pleased to say that we exceed this goal and raised £945! This money means we can help CAFOD give clean water to a whole community, so that they can focus on more important things like education.”

A HUGE THANK YOU to our Young Leaders at Farnborough Hill School for organising the walk for water and for raising such an amazing amount – Well done!

St Bede’s Primary Walk for Water .

Thank you so much to St Bede’s Primary school in Basingstoke for taking part in CAFOD’s Walk for Water Challenge and for raising an amazing £800 – well done.

Ellen from St Bedes told me “On Thursday 25th March, St. Bede’s Catholic Primary School Basingstoke turned out in force to walk for water.   We created obstacle courses for each year group, which had to negotiated by children carrying full buckets of water.  A wonderful time was had by all, including the obligatory soaking of teachers at the end!  The children understood very well that they were having fun carrying water, unlike children around the world who have to do it as a daily chore.  The total raised so far for all our Lent activities is over £800.  Well done, St. Bede’s!”

My CAFOD Walk for Water Challenge by Mel.

“My personal journey along this winding road of CAFOD’s ‘WALK FOR WATER’ challenge began because of Abdella who has to walk ten hours a day. He sets out in the early hours of the morning to avoid the severe heat. He leaves behind his two little nephews sleeping as they are too young to make the treacherous journey. He has left some food for them but the smile he gets as a reward from them when he returns with precious glasses of water is worth his sacrifice and the many steps he had to take for them he make…. so during this Lenten season I chose to make that sacrifice and a commitment of my time and pain for Abdella and for those like him who are deprived of clean water- a pure basic human need. I felt sad and I believe it is unfair that government and big corporations behave so callously and deprive people of access to clean water.

It was a long and winding road which brought back to me childhood memories of my journey in the sun for about two hours walking to go to church in India. Our parish priest would always welcome us with a precious glass of water and what a big smile we would give him in return.

Abdella’s smile and his walk for water touched me so much that I carried that image of with him in my heart. I prayed for him and for all my family, friends and their daily encouragement and donations made me persevere to complete the 400,000 and more steps.

My husband Jack kept me company and we talked about water and our future projects with CAFOD.  We took many photos along the way, admiring, praising and thanking God for His beautiful creation. We prayed daily for everyone and asked God in His Love and Mercy to end this pandemic and fulfil Abdella’s dream of clean water.

It was difficult for me due to my painful arthritic foot but a real joy to share my daily blog.  I have been so lucky through technology to be able to share my reflections of the walk and my photos with everyone through the Just Giving page and via my emails and WhatsApp.

Thank you CAFOD for giving me this opportunity of walking on this winding road of challenge, and to all those who contributed in any way. Thanks to my hubby for his patience and for being at my side and thank you God for keeping us safe.

This is my last blog and my last entry of my steps. Please keep donating for this very worthy cause of ‘Clean Water’.”

Thank you so much to Mel and Jack from English Martyrs Reading for taking part in CAFOD’s Walk for Water and for raising over £5000 which is marvellous. I really appreciate your commitment and support! THANK YOU!