St Richard’s School Share the Journey

War, persecution, natural disaster and poverty force millions of people from their homes. Inspired by Pope Francis, we respond with compassion and call on governments to protect the human dignity of people on the move.

We have already walked twice around the world in solidarity with our brothers and sisters. We are now aiming to walk a third time around the world to send a strong message to Theresa May that she must ensure that the UK takes a lead in the refugee negotiations at the UN later this year. You can sign our petition here.

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St Richard’s Catholic Primary school in Skelmersdale held a Refugee Walk in May to support CAFOD’s Share the Journey campaign. 246 children and staff each walked 2 miles, adding a fantastic 498 miles to our total!

CAFOD supporter Julie Carr said, “The children, staff and student teachers took part in the Refugee Walk to highlight the difficulties our refugee neighbours face in their plight to live a safe life. Our children were shocked to learn of some of the dangers which they face day to day and were determined to join the Share the Journey campaign.  We managed to add 498 miles to the totaliser.  On the journey we passed a number of shoppers and dog walkers – the children were keen to pass the reason for their walk on in the hope that others would join in this worthy campaign.”

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CAFOD Campaign Volunteer Coordinator, Emily McIndoe, said “This is such a fantastic effort from St Richards, it’s incredible to hear how the primary school students were so interested in learning about the plight of refugees and showed their support for them. What an amazing event!”

Can you hold a walk in your parish or community to stand in solidarity with refugees?

Find out more about the campaign.

Thank you for Sharing the Journey across Liverpool Diocese!

A big thank you to so many of our wonderful campaigners for taking action on the refugee crisis and showing support for people forced to flee their homes. We have had plenty of wonderful Share the Journey events across the diocese so far, and we still have two months of campaigning left!

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We have now managed to walk TWICE around the world in solidarity with refugees, and now we’re aiming to walk round a third time! You can track our progress here and follow our journey as we petition Theresa May to stand up for human dignity and urge her to ensure that the UK takes a lead during UN refugee negotiations.

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St Joseph’s parish card signing

St Charles and Thomas More, Aigburth have been working hard to Share the Journey. They’ve already held their first walk to Church Sunday event in which 19 people took part, and have plans for a second on 15th July. As well as these wonderful events, on Sunday 24th June (the last day of our Refugee Week of Action) the parish held a Share the Journey walk around Sefton Park, adding 18 miles to their parish total so far!

St Joseph’s, Penketh also supported the campaign by holding a card signing on Sunday 8th July, and managed to get over 170 people to sign petition cards that will be sent to Teresa May. What a fantastic effort!

CAFOD Campaign Volunteer Coordinator, Emily McIndoe, said “It’s wonderful to see so many different parishes get involved with this campaign, it’s so inspiring to see how enthusiastic and passionate our parish volunteers are, and they are achieving tremendous results! I’m excited to see how far we can walk, both as a diocese and as CAFOD as a whole”.

There’s still time for you to get involved and Share the Journey in your community and parish, so see if you can hold a Walk to Church Sunday event or Share the Journey Walk.

Find out more about the campaign.

CAFOD Liverpool Office Shares the Journey

stj office 1CAFOD’s latest campaign action, Share the Journey, is focused on taking action on the refugee crisis and showing support for people forced to flee their homes.

War, persecution, natural disaster and poverty force millions of people from their homes. Most come from poor countries, and seek safety in poor countries nearby.

We cannot turn away. These are human beings with hopes, fears, desires and stories to share, just like each one of us.

Pope Francis has declared this time a ‘unique opportunity’ for us to press our governments to make global commitments which place the human dignity of people on the move at their heart.

The campaign asks you to organise a walk in your local parish or community to join us in a walk around the world to urge world leaders to step up to protect rights of refugees and migrants. Here in the CAFOD Liverpool office, we organised a walk ourselves and walked round Sefton Park, counting our miles to the online total.

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Ged, Colette, Stephen, Emily and Jo all signed the petition and walked a total of 10 miles despite the rain, stopping to listen to the stories of those who are making difficult journeys. We enjoyed getting out of the office and found the experience of walking and listening to the stories very moving and thought provoking. See what you can do to get involved and, as always, we would love to hear about it in the Liverpool Office!

Find out more about the campaign by clicking here.

Liverpool Universities’ Catholic Society CAFOD Launch

CS1The Liverpool Universities’ Catholic Society, known as ‘CathSoc’, recently launched new support for CAFOD.  They have actively participated in current campaigns, making young people’s voices heard,  to show solidarity and support to our brothers and sisters around the world.

CathSoc is part of the Catholic Chaplaincy and provides weekly student mass, as well as opportunities for all Liverpool students to explore and deepen their faith.

On 5th November, Emily Holland, CathSoc committee member and CAFOD volunteer, spoke at student mass to announce support for CAFOD and to invite people to get involved with their first campaign, which aimed to show solidarity with 1,000 members of the Maua community in São Paulo, Brazil, who were facing eviction from their homes.

CathSoc received over 30 signatures on their petition and took photos of individuals

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Fr Neil Ritchie showing his support for the Maua community

holding a sign stating ‘#Ficamaua’ (i.e. #StopMaua) to show their support through an online Twitter campaign.  On 21st November, it was announced that the eviction had been overturned and will not go ahead.  This was fantastic news for the Maua Community and a great way to kickstart the students’ involvement in CAFOD campaigns!

Fr Neil Ritchie, Chaplain to the Liverpool Universities, has been very supportive and enthusiastic about getting the students involved with CAFOD.  On 12th November, he supported CathSoc when they held a Power to Be card signing after mass.  With over thirty cards signed so far, and more being handed out each week, it is a wonderful effort by all.

Emily Holland said, “As students, we are generally rather limited on the funding front, but we all want to do what we can to support the global community, so CAFOD is absolutely perfect for us! The response even just for the first two campaigns has been unbelievable, with thirty signatures for the Maua community and another thirty cards signed for Power to Be.  We’re all so excited to see what else we can get involved in, and hopefully this will be the start of a long-lasting partnership between the students of Liverpool and Catholics around the world!”

Emily McIndoe, CAFOD Volunteer, said, “Part of our aim in reaching out to the Universities was to build on the concerns that students have about social justice and their abilities to build links with like-minded people over these.

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Students getting involved with the Power to Be campaign by signing cards

Many of our campaigns are so easy to get involved in and are centred around raising awareness of key issues. The students were keen to get involved and were surprised at how easy it is to do. It has been inspiring to watch how enthusiastic everyone involved has been and to see such a positive result has been fantastic! I’m excited to see what they will do in the future.”

It’s great to see the Universities getting involved with campaigning for CAFOD and it is a great demonstration of how easy it is to do.

Find out more about CAFOD Campaigns, by clicking here.

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Update about #FicaMaua

22228324_1910300272621361_3294563816574675513_nGood news from Brazil! The planned eviction for the Maua community has been temporarily suspended for thirty days so we are extending the campaign, thank you to everyone who has already got involved across the diocese!

The Maua community currently resides in the Maua building in the centre of Sao Paulo. The building was originally a hotel but was left empty for 17 years, until over 200 families renovated it and moved in in 2007. Since then, they have been desperately trying to win their legal rights to live there and have recently been engaging in negotiations with the authorities. The situation has now become urgent as a shock eviction notice has been givenFM2 to the community, meaning that 237 families, over 1000 people, now face being forced out of their homes by police.

The eviction order was originally set for 22nd October, but it has just been temporarily suspended until 21st November 2017. The leading judge on the case granted the temporary suspension on the grounds of public interest, considering the situation of vulnerability of the families living there, including the almost 200 children, many of whom would lose their school year.

The reprieve is a result of the ongoing campaigning by the families and supporters, as well as meetings with authorities. On Monday, families camped outside the Courts of Justice in FM3Sao Paulo to pressure the judges to stop the eviction. The Municipality is preparing a new offer and negotiations continue to try and reach an agreement with the owners for the purchase of the building.

Neti de Araujo, a community leader within the Maua community who has met with CAFOD supporters in the past has said “We have been given a reprieve. We thank all those who have supported us. The struggle continues. We will continue organising ourselves to demand our rights.”

“I want to thank everyone, first of all to God, a wonderful God that we have, and then to all of you who have stood with us in this struggle. We have managed to secure the temporary suspension of the eviction for another 30 days from the date set for the eviction! From the 22 October we have 30 more days. In parallel, we will continue our struggle for the public purchase of the Mauá building for social housing, so this wave of evictions can finally stop. I want to thank each and every one of you who has embraced this cause in solidarity with us.”FM4

 CAFOD Campaign Volunteer Emily commented that “we’ve had such a strong response to the campaign across the diocese so it’s really encouraging to get some positive feedback from our efforts and I hope this encourages more people to show their support for the Maua community”.

We’re asking you to show your support for the Maua community by signing the petition and taking a photo of yourself holding a #ficamaua sign.

Find out more about the campaign here.