As part of volunteers’ week, we spoke to two Leeds volunteers who have dedicated their time towards aid agency CAFOD’s exciting Connect2 campaign.
Connect2 links communities in England & Wales with people in Brazil, Ethiopia, El Salvador, Cambodia and Peru.
The scheme is built on CAFOD’s values of solidarity and partnership, where parishes in the UK are able to stand alongside communities overseas to fight against poverty and injustice.
The Connect2 scheme is your chance to take a journey with ordinary people leading extraordinary lives, by fundraising as a Parish community.
The money you raise will support our work in your partner community and in other communities like theirs throughout their country. You really can help transform lives.
Connect 2 is a chance to link the faiths of two parishes from across the world. Joining Connect 2 gives an insight into the different Catholic cultures of churches in countries that CAFOD and its partners work within. It allows for real life examples of how CAFOD positively affects communities across the globe, and enables a community to be a real part of CAFODs work.
Joining one parish to another allows a strong bond to be formed between the two, living in solidarity with each other.
Joe Burns, member of the Assumption Church in Leeds said “people in our church community feel as though they have got to know the Puentecitos community through the updates provided by CAFOD”. Joe went on to say “Our congregation of the Assumption Church has been visited in recent years by two members of our connecting parish from El Salvador and we were able to engage face to face with them learning more about their community and life style.”
The Church has put on a South American evening, in which they celebrated, ate and danced South American style. To raise money the congregation held an Auction of Promises and managed to raise £2,000 for their connecting church and surrounding community. Events like this are a way of bringing the work that CAFOD does to life, as well as helping continue helping those in need in other areas of the world.
This is just one example of a Connect 2 community and the contribution that they have made to a Parish 5,341 miles away. Connect 2 is a way of joining with CAFODs overseas partners on a personal level, and seeing first-hand the difference that money raised has on the communities.
Would you like your church to become a Connect 2 parish? Follow the link below for more information and the sign up page!
Mollie Somerville is a CAFOD volunteer in her Parish in Bradford. During Lent her parish raised funds for the recent Lent Appeal. Local parishioners enjoyed getting together to hear about development in Zambia and how raising funds and awareness at a local event can help in a big way to families and communities who need support to generate sustainable food sources, including fishing and farming.
During one of the soup bread and cheese lunches at St Cuthbert’s and First Martyrs, a local parishioner told Mollie, “I really enjoy the home made soup and the way everyone helps clear up and wash up. Real community spirit being shown as well as fundraising”
Fundraising lunch at St Cuthbert’s and First Martyrs, Bradford.
The total raised from 5 Friday lunches was £267.10 which will be added to other fundraising actions held in the parish. In her role as a parish volunteer, Mollie has inspired other parishioners to put their catholic faith into action and stand in solidarity with their brothers and sisters in the Global South, she said parishioners has been keen to support with the fundraising lunches.
Some of the parishioners at the lunch told Mollie:
“I’m pleased to come to the lunches and support. I’m glad it’s ecumenical too”
“This is a good way to raise funds in a social way. We get to chat with our friends too”
If you would like to hold a lunch in your parish, or would like more ideas about how to fundraiser, have a look here for more information and support.
CAFOD’s local Community Participation Coordinators in your area; Joanne and Bronagh are available to support your parish fundraising efforts, (0113) 275 9302 or firstname.lastname@example.org