28th June; My opportunity to meet CAFOD’s Sudan country representative

I have been volunteering for 4 weeks as a  office volunteer at CAFOD in Leeds. I have been  invited to meet Michael Monginda CAFOD country representative for Sudan  and Fergus Comme CAFOD’s Head of Region; Africa, on the 28th of June here at the CAFOD volunteer centre in Leeds.

Rachale Chapman Office Vol prep Sudan visitors

Me researching CAFOD’s work in Sudan with fellow office volunteer Kathy

 

So, I have been researching the work that CAFOD have been doing in Sudan.  From the CAFOD website, I learned that Sudan is one of the largest and most geographically diverse nations in Africa, which is situated in the North east of the continent, between Egypt and Eritrea and bordering the Red sea.

CAFOD have been supporting projects in Dafur since 2004 as part of a major emergency programme organised by the two main international church based networks, Caritas Internationalis and Action by Churches Together Alliance. More over the programme is a lifeline for half a million people, providing water and sanitation, health clinics, treatment for malnutrition, education, and support for people in making a living.

Furthermore, they have been supporting children whose families who have been displaced by fighting in other parts of the country.

I watched a video on the Sudan page and found out that CAFOD helped a woman called Khadija whose village was attacked by militia. When she arrived in Kubum camp, the programme gave her materials to build a shelter and an emergency kit including cooking utensils.

As well as this, I also found out that a clinic for malnourished children was set up in a hospital in Garsila in central Darfur, which is supported by the ACT Caritas programme. This for me was very important as malnutrition is a major issue and it made me feel hopeful that there was a clinic set up as it will help children affected by this

On Thursday the 28th, of June  Michael Monginda and Fergus Comme are visiting CAFOD in Leeds at 11:30 am to discuss  their work in Sudan, followed by a shared lunch.  I have prepared some questions  I  would like to ask  when I meet them.

  • What has happened since the last time CAFOD helped Sudan?
  • What happened to the £2,082,000 that was spent in 2012/13?

I would encourage you to come along and meet our international visitors. If you would like to attend and find out more about Sudan please email us to let us know leeds@cafod.org.uk

if you can’t attend please email us with any questions  leeds@cafod.org.uk  and I will ask them on your behalf.

Garforth school children bid farewell to CAFOD schools volunteers

Catherine and Pat last school volunteer assembley three little pigsChildren from St Benedict’s Catholic Primary School in Garforth, showed their gratitude to two long standing CAFOD school volunteers who have been visiting schools for over 18 years across the Diocese of Leeds.

Catherine Simpson and Pat Atha were presented by the school children from the ‘Mini Vinnies’ group with two World Gifts cards, on behalf of the school to say thank you for supporting them as they put their faith in to action, in response to the cry of the poor.

Mr John Woolley, Head of School said “It has been wonderful to have Catherine and Pat come in to visit our school over the years, especially as they are part of our church community and the children make that connection when they see them at Mass on Sundays. Having the school volunteers with us, helps put the work of CAFOD into context and it is an opportunity for us to reflect and give thanks for the generosity of the children and their families.”

CAFOD representative, Bronagh Daly attended this farewell assembly delivered by Catherine Simpson and said “Catherine has so much energy in her delivery and story telling, the children listened to every word and really got involved in the assembly. They learned about how CAFOD responds to emergencies and supports communities to embrace long term sustainable practices to earn an income and send their children to school.

Bronagh added, “We really appreciate the efforts of all our schools volunteers, and we are really excited to meet anyone who wants to follow in Catherine and Pat’s footsteps. We provide training and support for anyone interested in becoming a school volunteer, please sign up here or for more information you can contact leeds@cafod.org.uk or call (0113) 275 9302 for an application form.

Nhlanhla, office volunteer from Zimbabwe reflects on his experience.

Nhlanhla tells us about his experience of being a volunteer with the CAFOD in Leeds team

“When I moved to the United Kingdom in September 2017 to pursue my masters course at the University of Leeds I was hoping to do some voluntary work with local charities to gain exposure to international development work. I was excited to come across CAFOD as I had worked on as a Lobby and Advocacy officer for a local NGO (Masakhaneni Trust) in Zimbabwe which was implementing various livelihood projects funded by CAFOD in the rural community of Enyandeni, in Gwanda District (Matabeleland South).

livison crowd at the Zimbabwe talk

Nhlanhla meets the CAFOD Leeds team of parish and schools volunteers.

“Through the CAFOD project, Masakhaneni Trust was able to mobilise the community to construct a dam and set up four community gardens where women and youth planted vegetables which not only alleviated poverty but generated income for women who were the head of their families and the unemployed youth. Having worked closely with CAFOD staff in Zimbabwe and implemented several projects in Africa with the organisation, it was easier for me to identify with CAFOD.

 

Livison Zimbabwe talk guests Entende NhlanHla Bronagh

Nhlanhla (second from left) at the Zimbabwe Talk, Feb 2018.

When I came to an international talk, from Livison Chipatiso (Programme Manager for CAFOD in Zimbabwe) I inquired about voluntary work I met very friendly members of staff (Bronagh and Joanne) who were also excited to meet someone who had been on the ground implementing various projects.

 

“Since becoming an office volunteer at CAFOD I have been assisting with office administration work such as making phone calls to volunteers, sending out letters to parishes, sending emails to partners who make generous donations and attending CAFOD functions. Being part of the CAFOD team has deepened my understanding of international development work and I have also acquired skills in communication and social media campaigning.

If you would like to know more about becoming an office volunteer with CAFOD in Leeds, please get in touch with us (0113) 275 9302 or leeds@cafod.org.uk

To apply to become an office volunteer, please sign up here and we will provide you with training and expenses. By volunteering with us, you will have the opportunity to put your Catholic faith into practice and help us to support parishes and schools across the Diocese of Leeds to respond to the cry of the poor.