Parishioners from St John the Baptist’s Burnley have been holding a Friday Lenten soup lunch as part of this year’s CAFOD Lent fundraising campaign. In an added boost, all donations to the Lent Appeal will be doubled by the UK Government’s Department for International Development up until May.
Every Friday during Lent a dedicated group of ladies and one or two chaps from St John’s are making soup to raise funds for CAFOD’s work. A lunch of potato & leek or vegetable soup with bread, followed by cheese & crackers with tea, is being served up, all for the price of £2.50. Soup is served from Noon every Friday during Lent with the final lunch taking place on Good Friday after the ecumenical “Witness” service at St Andrew’s Duke Bar. The Lenten soup lunches at St John’s have been an annual fundraiser for around 30 years and raised over £16,000 for CAFOD’s development work across the globe. Local bakery firm Warburtons have kindly donated the bread again this year enabling more money to be raised. Right now, 650 million people are living without access to clean water. 2.5 billion people lack something as basic as access to a toilet and sewage system. It is also estimated that women and girls worldwide spend 125 million hours a day collecting water, which means time away from work, school or playing with friends.
CAFOD volunteer at St John’s, Monica Atherton, said:
“The Lenten soup lunches are such a great way of bringing people together and raising an incredible amount of money to help others. I’m delighted that the UK Government is matching CAFOD’s work for the third time, as this proves how important these initiatives are for people all over the world. Lent is a time when we look to make a transformation in our own lives. In making this transformation, we aim to see one in the world around us. We therefore put our faith into action by ensuring as many people as possible have access to the basic right of safe and clean drinking water.”
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State Nick Hurd said:
“It’s fantastic that parishes in Burnley will be ‘turning on the taps’ this Easter for CAFOD’s Lent Appeal, supporting thousands of people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zimbabwe, and Uganda. By doubling every pound raised, together we can ensure that 300,000 people, especially young girls, can go to school rather than walking miles to collect water, can be protected from disease, and live healthy, productive lives.”
The money raised will enable the taps to be turned on in villages around the world by repairing or providing water pumps and training in order to maintain them. It will also fund hygiene programmes, education in sanitation and the building of latrines. Matched funds from the UK Government will enable access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene programmes to over 300,000 people in Uganda, Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
This seemingly simple gift dramatically changes lives, such as that of 14-year-old Proscovia from Northern Uganda. Proscovia had to leave school to collect water for the family, whilst her mum was out earning money to buy food. One in four people in Uganda do not have access to safe water.
CAFOD partners were able to repair the water pump in Proscovia’s village and the change in Proscovia’s life came overnight – the pump by her home, allowed the family to get the water when they needed it. She had time for school and could pursue her goal of becoming an engineer. CAFOD partners also taught Proscovia’s mother how to maintain the pump, so if it broke in the future she, or anyone else nearby could then fix it for themselves.
Donate to the CAFOD Lent Appeal and see you money doubled: