Holy Family School collects change to buy £600 of World Gifts

 

Holy Family, Leeds, Cafod, World Gifts.

The Fairtrade Group in action

Office staff at Holy Family School in Keighley were bemused to be presented with an order for processing that included a donkey, 2 pigeons, 3 vegetable gardens, 2 goats and a chicken breeding unit.

The Fairtrade Group in school had spent December 2015 collecting small change in order to donate £600 to CAFOD’s World Gifts. This scheme solves the problem of choosing a gift that is ultimately unwanted clutter and provides tremendous help to someone who can really benefit from it.

Farming is often the only means of survival for people living in poverty. But, for many, poor climate, lack of equipment, or no training makes even just growing enough food to survive impossible. The animals and vegetable gardens bought by the Fairtrade Group will offer long-term farming solutions for people in the most vulnerable communities.

James Moreland, leader of the Fairtrade Group said, “I was amazed at the response. I fully expected a few pounds from each Tutor Group for a bee hive or a couple of chickens but to be able to send £600 for a package that includes health kit, new business support and whole vegetable gardens is terrific. And it all comes from loose change that no-one really missed. It is a very simple way in to understanding how a little can go a long way in the developing world.”

CAFOD is the Holy Family’s development partner and many fundraising events are organised throughout the school year to raise vital funds.

Have a look at the Resources for Schools to fundraise for World Gifts or contact Joanne Taylor on 0113 275 9302.

 

 

Philippines priest travels to Leeds to thank CAFOD supporters

          Fr Edu1         Fr Edu2

Fr Edwin Gariguez, a Filipino priest, CAFOD partner and environmental activist, delivered an inspiring talk to CAFOD supporters at Leeds cathedral last week.

A prayer inspired by Pope Francis’ Encyclical, Laudato Si’, opened the talk and set the scene for an evening focused on “care for our common home”.

Fr Edwin then spoke of the environmental situation in the Philippines and the many threats that the country must face as a result of climate change. Asia holds around 60% of the world’s population; it also holds the poorest of people. Fr Edwin emphasised the injustice of the situation; people living in poverty contribute the least to climate change, yet they are affected the most. He stated that environmental disasters unfairly punish the vulnerable.

Poverty and climate change are linked and we must do all we can to address the key issue for our generation. The main threats to the Philippines are instances of extreme weather, such as cyclones and typhoons. Shockingly, Fr Edwin revealed that three cyclones were headed towards the Philippines as he spoke!

Following the devastating Typhoon Haiyan in 2013, Fr Edwin worked closely with the Filipino people and experienced the destruction first-hand. Fr Edwin told us the official statistics, however his personal stories and photographs from directly after the typhoon, were what truly conveyed the magnitude of the disaster.

Fr Edwin is a key member of NASSA (Caritas Philippines), CAFOD’s equivalent agency in the Philippines, and so both organisations have worked extensively with each other, especially after Typhoon Haiyan. As a result of CAFOD’s campaigning and the fundraising efforts across Britain, over £3 million has been raised to help the people of the Philippines. Fr Edwin expressed his gratitude to the Leeds diocese, this fantastic amount will go towards giving people living in poverty a better life.

In addition to giving thanks, Fr Edwin spoke of some of his other environmental activism. In the 1990s, a mining corporation threatened to destroy the indigenous Filipino’s way of life, as well as pollute the local area, by opening a nickel mine. The area was the ancestral home of the Mindoro people but corporate land-grabbing was set to ruin it forevermore; Fr Edwin people realised that he must act.

Mass protesting and activism, teamed with an eleven day hunger strike, meant that the governments had to listen- the planned mine was cancelled and pollution prevented. For his efforts, Fr Edwin was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize, a significant honour for an individual committed to helping others. In Fr Edwin’s own words, “Protecting the rights of the poor takes precedence over corporate greed.”

To close the evening, Fr Edwin spoke of the Filipino resiliency; their admirable ability to bounce back and remain strong when faced with adversity. He put this down to their faith and the belief that God will always help; hope is never in short supply. He also encouraged everyone to tackle climate change following Laudato Si’; Pope Francis’ message was reiterated heavily throughout the evening: we cannot afford to be apathetic, we must work together and take real action.

Fr Edwin left us with a quote: “It is better to take less, than to give more.” A powerful and relevant message from a truly inspirational figure.

Fr Edu3

Luke Hudson