A Harvest like no other: How to prepare your parish for Harvest Fast Day


Throughout the month of September we are holding 4 volunteer meetings, each with a different member of our international development and crisis response staff. They will update us on the work that is happening in their respective countries in the run up to Harvest.

Each meeting will also be co-facilitated by one of the Community Participation Coordinators of the North East dioceses.

The dates and times of the meetings are as follows:

  • Tuesday 8th September at 7pm – Bolivia with Nicky Evans
  • Thursday 10th September at 11am – Yemen and Syria with Josie O’Reilly and Hombeline Dulière
  • Monday 14th September at 2pm – South East Asia with Janet Symes
  • Wednesday 16th September at 6pm – Sierra Leone with Kayode Akintola

The meetings will be held over Zoom and links to these meetings will be sent out 2 working days before each talk. The Zoom links will be emailed to you by your diocesan Community Participation Coordinator (Bronagh Daly).

N.b. If you are not a volunteer but would still like to attend, please email bdaly@cafod.org.uk for the Zoom meeting links.

The presentation from our international staff will last around 20 minutes and will be followed by a discussion about how you can prepare your parish for a new kind of Harvest Fast Day.

Please come and join us at these meetings for a unique opportunity to hear more about CAFOD’s work overseas alongside your fellow volunteers. Please feel free to invite your fellow parishioners!

Harvest talk 4: Sierra Leone with Kayode Akintola

Our final Harvest Fast Day talk for the North East region will be held on Wednesday 16th September at 6pm with Kayode Akintola. Kayode is the CAFOD Country Representative for Sierra Leone and Liberia. Including his time at CAFOD, Kayode has been involved in international development management, civil society strengthening and social development for almost 20 years. 

This talk will be co-facilitated by Maggie Mairura, Community Participation Coordinator for Nottingham diocese. 

Sierra Leone is one of the lowest-ranking countries in the world for life expectancy, access to education and standard of living. Almost three-quarters of people live below the poverty line. CAFOD was on the front line when the deadly Ebola virus struck Sierra Leone. Now, our local experts are ready to support communities during the coronavirus crisis. “The reality is people must work to eat in this country, says Kayode, “They live a day after another. So, when we talk in terms of lockdown or self-isolation, it becomes very difficult for so many people.” 

“We defeated Ebola, and we know that by the grace of God we are going to defeat coronavirus.” 

Come and hear from Kayode in our final Harvest Fast Day talk.  

Reminder: Bronagh Daly will send you the Zoom link for this meeting 2 days beforehand

Harvest Fast Day talk 3: South East Asia with Janet Symes

Our third Harvest Fast Day talk will be held on Monday 14th September at 2pm with Janet Symes, Head of Region for Asia & Middle East. Janet has been working with CAFOD since 2014 and prior to that she spent many years working in development around the world, particularly in the Asia and the Middle East but also in the UK. She lived in the Middle East for several years as well as in the Balkans and East Africa. 

This talk will be co-facilitated by Tim Madeley, Community Participation Coordinator for Hexham and Newcastle diocese. 

Janet has a passion for people-led development: enabling the people themselves to define the future or their communities. CAFOD works in countries across Asia to combat poverty, respond to emergencies and uphold the rights of the continent’s poorest and most vulnerable people to lift themselves out of poverty. The region is frequently hit by large natural disasters and is exposed to the impacts of climate change, affecting the poorest and most marginalised. 

Come and hear from Janet at talk number 3. 

Reminder: Bronagh Daly will send you the Zoom link for this meeting 2 days beforehand

Harvest Fast Day talk 2: Yemen and Syria with Hombeline Dulière and Josie O’Reilly

Our second Harvest Fast Day talk will focus on CAFOD’s emergency response work in Yemen and Syria and takes place on Thursday 10th September at 11am. Our guest speakers will be Hombeline Dulière and Josie O’Reilly. 

  • Hombeline has been working with CAFOD since 2017 in the Emergency Response Group. She first started as Project Manager for an EU-funded project and is the Syria Response Programme Manager since 2019. She’s based in Beirut, Lebanon. 
  • Josie has been working with CAFOD since end of 2018 in the Emergency Response Group as the Programme Development Funds Officer for Asia, Middle East and Latin America. She’s based in London, UK.  

This talk will be co-facilitated by Carol Cross, Community Participation Coordinator for Middlesbrough diocese.  

The conflict in Syria and Yemen has devastated lives, forcing millions to flee to overcrowded refugee camps. As coronavirus threatens to spread, CAFOD is still reaching the most vulnerable people, ensuring they have emergency food, water and safe places to stay. On 4 August two explosions ripped through Lebanon’s capital, Beirut, killing over 100 people and leaving more than 4,000 injured. Rescue workers are still searching for many more missing people. 

Come and join us and your fellow volunteers and parishioners for talk number 2. 

Reminder: Bronagh Daly will send you the Zoom link for this meeting 2 days beforehand