Amazing poem on Refugees written by a pupil at St Joseph’s Academy after a visit from a CAFOD school volunteer .

Photo credit CAFOD Ben White

Matthew White one of our fantastic School volunteers visited St Joseph’s Primary Academy in Aldershot to share CAFOD’s Workshop “Specials Places” which focuses on the plight of refugees.

The school told me “We were extremely lucky to have a visit from Matthew White, a volunteer from CAFOD, last week. It has been a long time since we were last able to have Matthew come to St. Joseph’s and it was fantastic to have him back, in person. He led workshops for Years 3 – 6 about the plight of refugees. The children were engaged and so enthusiastic. The task helped them to understand refugees, and to better empathise with their situation. We would like to say a huge thank you to Matthew for coming in and sharing his knowledge with the children. Matthew was very impressed by the enthusiasm and tremendous level of engagement shown by all pupils.”

A poem for refugees from a girl in Year 5.

Running, running away from home

Trying not to break a bone

Feeling scared of booms and bangs

Travelling on hot yellow sands

Swimming, swimming without a boat

And when done, freezing without a coat

Finally getting on dry land

Is there anyone there to lend a hand.”

Wow that is just amazing thank you so much for sharing.

Journey to the Manger – Advent Resources

Saba and her family

Our 2020 online Advent calendar of daily prayer and reflection offers an opportunity to pause and reflect, pray and take action as we prepare for Christmas. Join us as we journey throughout the season of Advent with our global family. We also have online advent calendars for children and young people.

Our North East team are leading a weekly time of reflection called Journey to the Manger on Sunday evenings starting on 29th November at 6pm more details here

This year our Advent Appeal focuses on those who have been affected by Coronavirus for example Saba who fled from Myanmar and now lives in the refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar Bangladesh. Like us, she and her family have faced the challenges of social distancing, self-isolation, and lockdown. And in a camp that is, metre for metre, 10 times as crowded as London, the pandemic has only made having a shelter of your own all the more vital. 

Saba and her family

CAFOD’s partners provided Saba and her 3 children with a shelter kit including essential materials to build a place to live. The materials Saba received were very simple – bamboo, tarpaulin and rope, that sort of thing – but to Saba they meant much more. They meant she could build a home her children could feel safe in.  £40 can provide essentials material for a family to build a shelter so please donate here.

Why are Rohingya refugees so vulnerable to coronavirus?

The Coronavirus pandemic has severely impacted communities worldwide, especially those who are living in refugee camps.

The camps in Bangladesh are becoming an even more dangerous home for the many refugees who live there, and the prevention measures we have become used to in the UK will be almost impossible to practice.

Refugee families rely on help for basic daily living supplies, including clean water, soap, and washing powder, so regular handwashing and washing clothes is a challenge. The camps are very overcrowded, and shelters are makeshift, making social distancing advice impractical.

Limited food and healthcare mean also mean that some people are already unwell and will need extra help to survive the virus.

Sign up for our upcoming online talk on the Bangladesh and Rohingya Crisis here. It takes place on Thursday 12 November, 11am-12pm, please do join us and invite others who might be interested.

What is CAFOD doing to help Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh?

Our local experts have been providing practical help in Cox’s Bazar since the camp was set up in 2017. We are continuing to work around the clock to ensure that the most vulnerable refugees in makeshift camps receive the aid they need. So far, we have reached more than 360,000 Rohingya refugees with lifesaving help. We have been able to:-

Provide food, kitchen supplies and blankets to over 89,000 vulnerable families

Install 300 solar streetlights, meaning women, children and the elderly can use water and toilet facilities at night

Rebuild temporary homes for 40,000 families, meaning they have somewhere to safer to shelter together

We have been able to do this because of the generous support you have given us.

For more information on how you can help click here