Catholic aid agency CAFOD has launched a new appeal on the eve of its Harvest Fast Day, one of the most important moments in the year for the organisation. This Harvest, CAFOD is thanking the Diocese of Salford supporters for everything they do to support the agency’s vital work.
Whether their gift comes in the form of a generous donation, in taking action to support our campaigns (current campaign: Act on Poverty) to improve the lives of the poorest people or by supporting those overseas through prayer, CAFOD’s supporters have helped change people’s lives for the better. Their unstinting support ensures the most vulnerable continue to receive help for as long as it is needed.
Pope Benedict’s visit in September confirms our commitment to those who live in poverty, letting our “hearts speak unto hearts.” Parishes and schools throughout the Diocese of Salford will be reflecting on his words this Harvest and the actions they have taken in the past that have made a difference. CAFOD is asking people to continue to take action so those in need who don’t make the news headlines are not forgotten – and can be supported in achieving their full potential.
Anne Marie Coppock, CAFOD’s Diocesan Manager for Salford said: “Last year the people of Salford Diocese raised a fantastic £71,272.39 . I’m always humbled by the generosity and creative spirit of this diocese, which plays such a big part in ensuring CAFOD’s vital work can continue. We want the special services and fun activities taking place in the parishes and schools to provide not only a great day and raise money, but to allow people to feel that they have, they are and they can continue to take action to help others to flourish and live in dignity, no matter how long this takes. CAFOD’s story this year focuses on Jeanne, who we have supported since the age of 3 when her parents were murdered during the Rwandan genocide. CAFOD want to continue to be there for Jeanne as she starts to make a living and begins a family of her own.”
The Harvest Fast Day appeal on October 1st is casting the spotlight on Rwanda as an example of how CAFOD’s long-term support is enabling people to lead a fuller, productive life. Jeanne was just three when she saw her mother and father murdered in 1994 during the genocide that saw a million people slaughtered in 100 days. Despite her young age, the memories of that time are horrifically vivid.
Thanks to CAFOD supporters, Jeanne, and thousands of survivors like her, were offered sanctuary in the aftermath. Such terror is not easily forgotten however. Jeanne suffered – and is still suffering – the effects of serious trauma and the loss of her family.
Jeanne described her feelings growing up: “I couldn’t sleep because of the constant thoughts in my head. I couldn’t go to school. I thought about where my life would end. I had lost hope and felt like dying. Death felt like the solution.”
At age 7, Jeanne dropped out of school, unable to cope with life. CAFOD partners were there to support her and brought her together with other orphans, who had suffered similar experiences. Jeanne joined one of the hundreds of orphan groups. The groups supported each other and gave each other strength to carry on. They formed counselling groups and established co-operatives so that they can grow crops and sell them to earn a living. Jeanne eventually returned to school.
Jeanne said: “I’m not doing very well in my exams because I have missed so much school. But I like being among people and learning again. It’s like starting a new life. I hope this life will have a happier ending.”
It’s important to remember it’s not just money alone that changes lives however. Through prayer and campaign action, everyone can do their bit to end poverty.
More information is available for parishes by visiting:
CAFOD Harvest Fast Day is Friday 1st October.