Many thanks to Paul Draper one of our amazing parish volunteers in Reading for organising a meeting with Matt Rodda MP for Reading East as part or our Parliament in Your Parish campaign. Also many thanks to Jane, David and Damian for taking part in the meeting.
Paul told me “Matt was very supportive of CAFOD’s campaign, seeing it as a moral responsibility for all in the U.K. to lead on taking action to combat climate change, and to put into practice the agreements given at Kyoto, Paris and Copenhagen. That the COP 26 meeting in November is urgent to address this. He supports the Covax system of vaccines to our neighbours throughout the world. He feels that the World Bank has been less than conspicuous in helping, and that Debt of those poorest nations needs to be addressed. As shadow Pensions minister he sees the need for new pathways for ‘green investments’.
He wanted to thank CAFOD for maintaining a high profile throughout the pandemic to keep the focus on dealing with climate change and the harm to the poorest throughout the world who have not brought us to this parlous state.”
“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!
A HUGE THANK YOU to children at English Martyrs Primary school in Reading for taking part in CAFOD’s Walk for Water which raised over £1138 – amazing!
Linda Heneghan our school volunteer in Reading prepared a virtual assembly for the children which told the story of eight-year-old Abdul and his brother Mohammed who live in the Afar region of Ethiopia, one of the hottest places on Earth. Water is scarce and the boy’s 23-year-old cousin Abdella makes a five-hour round trip twice a day to collect water for the family. Recognising the preciousness of water, Abdul says on the film: “My favourite drink is water. Water is life.”
As a way of raising money and as an act of solidarity with their sisters and brothers who daily walk for water, the children at English Martyrs decided to walk for water on 17th March. Each class did their own walk around the school grounds. Many thanks to the parents and friends who donated to the fundraiser and to the staff for organising the walk.