Connect2 Scheme Inspires CAFOD Volunteers

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 world image and logo

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.

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Introducing Patrick – our new campaign volunteer co-ordinator

After spending nearly eight years serving in the British army, one Bradford University graduate is now enjoying his time working as a volunteer for aid agency CAFOD. 

Patrick Chabviaka

Patrick Chabviaka, CAFOD Leeds’ campaign volunteer co-ordinator

Patrick Chabviaka has been CAFOD Leeds’ campaign volunteer co-ordinator since February after taking a particular interest in international development.

Patrick said: “I graduated from university in 2014 having done an international development course but there is only so much you can learn through theories.

“I realise now what a huge role organisations like CAFOD play and I now have a better idea how campaigns work.”

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CAFOD supporters raise over £12 million at Christmas

world-gifts-2016-coverCAFOD’s World Gift Schemes, now in its twelfth year, has been embraced by the Catholic community as a way to give gifts that help transform the lives of poor communities in developing countries.

Since its introduction in 2004, the generosity of the Catholic community has seen the scheme raise over £12 million, with 103,000 school starter kits, 46,000 goats, 38,000 chickens and 3,000 queen bees having been bought as presents by Catholics in England and Wales. Last year alone, communities in England and Wales taught over 4,000 children to read through fundraising for World gifts.

Since last year, Catholics in the Diocese of Leeds have been given the opportunity to buy a ‘Winter Survival Kit’ for refugees this winter, giving those in need food, fuel and blankets to protect them against the cold. This is alongside the action of over 13,000 Catholics across the country who have written messages of hope and welcome to refugees. These messages will be dedicated to refugees across the world in a special event in Salford on 3 December.

View the world gift now

Catholics in Diocese of Leeds will also this year have the chance to give a ‘Tree for Life’ gift which is a new initiative being run by CAFOD this year. The gift will supply a family with five fruit tree saplings plus the tools and training to produce their own nursery. When a Trees for Life gift is purchased, CAFOD will send a spruce seed Christmas decoration for the purchaser to plant and grow their own trees. The charity is hoping to plant a total of 10,000 seeds both in the UK and overseas.

CAFOD representative in Leeds, Joanne Taylor said:

“We are so thankful to Catholics in Diocese of Leeds for their generosity in recent years to help those living in extreme poverty. World Gifts are meaningful gifts that make a huge difference to lives of so many communities around the world and help transform lives this Christmas.”

Gifts come with an illustrated gift card to give to a friend or loved one, and feature a range of gifts for children and stocking fillers, while orders over £50 will receive a free CAFOD tea-towel. E-certificates can be downloaded until Christmas Eve for last minute gift buyers. Parishes and schools can come together to fundraise for larger gifts to help a whole community, such as a £4000 Health Clinic or a £750 community water supply.