COVID-19 Update

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CAFOD Supporters campaigning

CAFOD Supporters taking action against Climate Change

Thank you for your patience while we take on board the changing situation with COVID-19 and the incredibly important role you play in support of our development and humanitarian work.

Thanks to your compassion and commitment, we can reach some of the poorest and marginalised communities around the world.

The Liverpool Volunteer Centre is closed (for now) – but there are still many ways to get involved!

CAFOD is following the advice issued by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England & Wales (CBCEW) as well as the UK government.

Following the government’s advice, we have taken the decision to cancel all face-to-face events and meetings and have closed all regional offices until at least June.

All the latest information about CAFOD’s response to COVID-19 will be on our Coronavirus Q & A and COVID-19: Information for volunteers pages.

Get in touch: Siobhan and Colette will still be available by mobile phone, email and via social media, so if you have any

questions or thoughts do not hesitate to be in touch whatever your query:

Siobhan – Mobile:  07779 804 241          Email:  sfarnell@cafod.org.uk

Colette – Mobile:  07779 804 242           Email: cbyrne@cafod.org.uk

Online worship
With the Coronavirus pandemic causing masses to be cancelled, there are now lots of parishes and cathedrals offering virtual worship.

You can find out more information about local live-streamed services here:  http://www.liverpoolcatholic.org.uk/mass-live-stream.html

We’ve also created a ‘Children’s Liturgy Live!’ session which will take place every Sunday to help families to worship in their own homes.

Online resources
If you’re looking for community, we have a CAFOD community group on Facebook. Please do join and invite others to do the same.

If you’re a parent, we have a large range of online education resources tailored specifically for primary and secondary ages, alongside worship and prayer content.

If you’re looking to learn more about CAFOD’s international work, we will be releasing a weekly timetable of online talks.

Feel-good stories
If you are a CAFOD volunteer and hear of a great story in your local parish – please let us know so we can share it on our social media channels and website.

It would be great if you would be able to email over a few sentences about what happened, along with a photo.

Prayer for the Coronavirus
Even though the volunteer centres are temporarily shut, we hope to be able to continue to offer opportunities to connect with the lives of our sisters and brothers around the world.

Please keep an eye of our social media pages for the latest updates:
Find us on Facebook  and Twitter at CAFOD in Liverpool.

In the meantime, we continue to pray for all those affected by the COVID-19 virus and the healthcare workers here in the UK and overseas, who are on the frontline of this crisis – and ask that you too join us in keeping them in our thoughts and prayers.

Sharing Moira’s Fun Run Story

Ahead of CAFOD’s ‘Virtual Fun Run Like No Other’ we have been speaking to our volunteers to find out their fun run stories. 

In this week’s blog post, we catch up with Moira Devlin and find out what has kept him involved with CAFOD for so many years. 

Moira and her family have taken part in the CAFOD fun run every year since the late 90’s, with their friends, neighbours and even their dogs! For the past few years, Moira has been a member of the Steering Group Committee, and during the actual run Moira has been volunteering on the World Gifts stall, which she noted is a great excuse to chat and drink coffee. 

For Moira and her husband Paul it’s become a tradition for them to spend the evening with their friends who have also participated in the run, warming up in front of the fireplace. 

Unfortunately, this year will be very different to their usual traditions, however Moira noted that it will be no less special! They will be running or walking the 5k like many other volunteers in the knowledge there is a huge network of participants and supporters with each other in spirit! Bring it on!

Donations can be made to CAFOD via our CAFOD Fun Run JustGiving page or, alternatively, you can set up a sponsorship page for yourself, every penny counts! Simply click the ‘Start Fundraising’ button on our JustGiving page here: https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/funrunlikenoother 

Sharing Mike’s Fun Run Story

Ahead of CAFOD’s ‘Virtual Fun Run Like No Other’ we have been speaking to our volunteers to find out their fun run stories. 

In this week’s blog post, we catch up with Mike Dooling MBE, and find out what has kept him involved with CAFOD for so many years. 

How did you get involved with CAFOD?

I first came across the Cafod fun run in my younger days, I took part in the run a number of times over in the seminary in Upholland. It appealed to me because the run was for charity and also, I used to run at Upholland in my days at St Edwards in West Derby. 

The run moved over to Liverpool some 18 + years ago and my Liverpool Harriers club secretary asked me to ring Mike Merriman, a CAFOD volunteer who needed some help staging the event at Wavertree. After I contacted Mike, we soon realised he was the same Mike Merriman who had tried to teach me Mathematics at St Edwards, so we laughed about that and I came on board to help coordinate the CAFOD run.

What is your involvement with the fun run? 

After around three years, Mike could no longer commit to his organisational duties with CAFOD, therefore I inherited the coordination of the event, and have been working alongside some great people to run the event every year since.

 At one stage it was sadly sinking due to a lack of volunteers and participants,  but we persevered, and have since built it up again thanks to our dedicated team of volunteers, all of whom have superb commitment and dedication in ensuring the event is well organised. Of course we could not organise the event without the assistance of the Cafod personnel, who are always there to support the volunteers and it is this partnership which is rather unique.  

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Mike at a previous fun run

What is so appealing about the fun run that makes it a success every year?  

The run has grown over the past five years, and we now have over 250 runners, walkers and canine friends mainly thanks to word of mouth and online promotions of the event which assists our work so much. 

The run is a celebration of the Christian Merseyside community who come together every year to celebrate post Christmas, knowing that their presence and financial support is making a difference to those in need around the world.

What would you say to people about taking part in this year’s ‘virtual’ event?

I would like to thank all the members of the group and running fraternity for their continued support and I would also like to welcome all our online friends, wherever they are, who are involving themselves for the very first time and thank them for their commitment to assist our sisters and brothers in need in our global family. 

On the 27th December, CAFOD’s annual Fun Run is going virtual and we would love for you and your family to be involved! This year, wherever you are, we’re asking you to run, walk or toddle 5k to burn off your Christmas dinner and make a life-changing donation to CAFOD. All money raised will be used to continue CAFOD’s vital work helping our sisters and brothers in some of the world’s poorest communities. 

Donations can be made to CAFOD via our CAFOD Fun Run JustGiving page or, alternatively, you can set up a sponsorship page for yourself, every penny counts! Simply click the ‘Start Fundraising’ button on our JustGiving page here: https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/funrunlikenoother 

This week…Weds 6pm CAFOD Advent Mass and Thurs 7.30pm CAFOD Carol Service

A New Child is Born. Join our Eucharistic Celebration Weds 16th Dec 6pm

You are invited to join us to celebrate the coming of Christ at Christmas with a special Mass streamed live online on Wednesday 16th December, from 6pm-7pm.

This Advent, as we continue to experience the terrible impact of the coronavirus pandemic, we will come together in solidarity and prayer.  We will bring together our prayers, from and for our communities and partners and our families and friends across the world, into the presence of our loving God.

All are welcome to join in solidarity and prayer, to celebrate the coming of Christ at Christmas with a Mass streamed live with CAFOD and friends. Click here to join our Advent Mass online.

The CAFOD Carol Service online! Thurs 17th Dec 7.30pm

This year the annual CAFOD Carol Service is going virtual! Join us for carols on Thursday 17 December, from 7:30pm-9pm.

Every year St John Rigby College, partner schools and the community are involved in the CAFOD Carol Service at St Teresa’s Church, Up Holland. Coronavirus means that we have not been able to do this in person, but we refuse to give up… this year, we are going virtual!

‘We are proud to share the gifts and talents of students, pupils and the community in our CAFOD Carol Service 2020. Each year, this service raises lots of money to support the work of CAFOD and we will hear this year from a guest speaker about the work completed in South America.’

Join us and join in with the CAFOD Carol Service 2020.

CAFOD works with local partners and communities across the world – responding to emergencies, promoting long-term development and raising public awareness of the causes of poverty. We work with people of all faiths and none for a safe, sustainable and peaceful world.

Click here to watch our CAFOD Carol Service promo

Access to Clean Water Using Solar Power for Drought-Prone Pastoralist Communities in Afar, Ethiopia

From July 2019 to December 2020, CAFOD has implemented a project to improve water access of people in the drought-prone Pastoralist Communities in Afar, Ethiopia. We wanted to share with you how a donation from the Isle of Man Government has served the people of Afar

Community members using newly installed water point

The Afar region is one of the hottest and driest places in the world. Temperatures regularly exceed 40°C.  Water is scarce since traditional wells are shallow and dry up due to frequent droughts.

Through solar powered water installations, the project focused on creating access to potable water supply for day to day household consumption and livestock and minimising the cost of running the water structures.

The project installed 54 solar panels and submersible pumps to enable the water to be pumped from the deep boreholes to reservoirs. As a result, the communities of Gubie and Geraed now have access to safe water. In addition, a 2,260m pipeline extension and a reservoir was constructed to enable the village of Dokhole and its primary school to also have safe drinking water.

Previously, women and girls had to walk long distances to fetch water for their households. Few existent boreholes were reliant on diesel generators which were very expensive to run. The community had difficulty obtaining fuel and parts for repairs, and the maintenance cost was too expensive. This had resulted in the community being unable to access water to the minimum standards level set by the government for daily consumption.

The project established, equipped, and trained two committees to ensure appropriate maintenance and use of the newly installed water structures incorporating training and minor repairs. Monthly committee meetings provided a forum to discuss maintenance matters, fee collection and to ensure vulnerable households with people with disabilities or the elderly are exempted from paying monthly fees.  Women’s participation in the committees has been key. Water installations have had a positive impact on easing women and girls’ workloads and challenging norms that prevented men and boys from taking on water fetching responsibilities.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the project also trained district officials, community volunteers, health extension workers and health center directors, who have been responsible for disseminating key water and sanitation messages to the community.

Woman using newly installed water point

One of the residents of Gubie village, member of the water committees said:

 “Thanks to the Isle of Man Government and all involved, we now have safe and adequate water. The support also came at the right time as it coincided with the COVID-19 outbreak”.

 On a project visit, a 35-year-old mother of 5 also shared:

“I cannot imagine what would have happened to us. Because of the solar pumps, we now have immediate access to water for drinking, washing and cleaning”.

She also highlighted the opportunities that better water access has brought to her children and she is hopeful for their future as they can now dedicate less time to fetching water and more time to studying: 

Our thanks to the Isle of Man Government and their residents for their support of this project. The project has brought safe accessible water to 9,237 people and 40,396 livestock.

Sharing Tim’s Fun Run Story

Ahead of CAFOD’s ‘Virtual Fun Run Like No Other’, we caught up with Tim Walsh, a volunteer for CAFOD in Liverpool, to find out his Fun Run story… 

How did you get involved with CAFOD? 

I was encouraged by my parents Mary & Peter (now together in heaven) to get involved with the work of CAFOD. An important part of our family life was to be mindful of how lucky we are and consider the struggles of our less fortunate brothers and sisters in the world’s poorest countries. 

How many Fun Runs have you taken part in? 

Despite CAFOD being a part of my family life since we were at school, last year was my first involvement with the annual Fun Run. We did, however, make up for lost time as 15 of us took part! After the run, we gathered back at our house and had a Christmas get together. 

Tim and family at last year’s Fun Run.

What do you think about the event going virtual this year? 

The switch to a ‘virtual’ event this year presents a challenge, but it is also an opportunity provided we all approach it with a positive mindset. For my family, it means we can include relatives who live beyond the North West, meaning that we can have a wider – though virtual – Christmas family get together! 

So, you’ll be encouraging your family to participate in this year’s event? 

Yes! This year we are hoping to (virtually) include family members who live in The East of England, Greater London, Scotland and even the USA, albeit it might be a bit early in the day for them! 

On the 27th December, CAFOD’s annual Fun Run is going virtual and we would love for you and your family to be involved! This year, wherever you are, we’re asking you to run, walk or toddle 5k to burn off your Christmas dinner and make a life-changing donation to CAFOD. All money raised will be used to continue CAFOD’s vital work helping our sisters and brothers in some of the world’s poorest communities. 

Donations can be made to CAFOD via our CAFOD Fun Run JustGiving page or, alternatively, you can set up a sponsorship page for yourself, every penny counts! Simply click the ‘Start Fundraising’ button on our JustGiving page here: https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/funrunlikenoother