Love In Action – Leeds University climate campaign event

EntranceLeeds groupCAFOD Leeds, together with Christian Aid and the Leeds University Multifaith Chaplaincy, organised and held a Climate Coalition campaigning day on Wednesday 27th April at The Emmanuel Chaplaincy Centre at Leeds University.

The day startAndyed with 3 talks focusing on different aspects of climate change. Our first speaker was Professor Andy Challinor who, as a Leeds university Lecturer on Climate Impact, was able to give us some scientific information on the subject of the changing climate and its effects on our world. He spoke particularly of the changes to the production of food and food security that will be inevitable with the changing climate. He stressed that the effects on farming and crops will be felt most acutely in countries with a tropical climate which are most commonly the areas with the poorest communities.

We then heard from Shelagh Fawcett of Christian Aid who informed the audience why NonShelagh-Government Organisation’s and charities are focusing on the issue of climate change and why, particularly, they are campaigning on the issue. She told us that it is those people who can least cope with the effects of climate change that are experiencing devastating extreme weather events. The work being undertaken by development charities is often resilience building and emergency preparation. It is therefore a high priority for the campaigning arms of these charities to focus their efforts on raising awareness of these issues by calling on our political leaders to work towards a global deal which will reduce humanity’s impact on our created world.

Finally we heard from Fr Pius Win Than, a priest from Myanmar (Burma) who workswith CAFOD partner Caritas Myanmar as Diocesan Deputy Director. He spoke to us of the effects of extreme weather on poor communities overseas. Fr Pius spoke about his harrowing experience helping people after Cyclone Nargis hit Myanmar and killed 150,000 people. He told us of the very real experiences of people who had lost loved ones and whose homes and livelihoods were destroyed. He spoke of the immediate relief work that was undertaken in the first days following the cyclone. We learned too of the work that is now being undertaken to reduce the loss of life should another extreme weather eveFr Piusnt hit their communities including an early warning system, emergency packs and first aid training. The local communities also donate a portion of their rice yield to the village ‘rice bank’ to ensure that there will be a supply of food should another cyclone hit their area again.

During the lunch break, which was provided by Christian Aid we had the opportunity to take part in some sustainability workshops. These included making a bee hotel, stamping recycled paper and making seed bombs, which were egg sized clumps of compost containing various seeds that we were encouraged to take away and drop into undergrowth while out walking to encourage wild flower growth.

L & K betterCrissi activitySeed bomb

The day ended with a panel made up of representatives of faith denominations and ecological campaign groups. These included someone from the student body, the Catholic, Quaker and Muslim faiths as well as someone who has established an environmental campaigning group. We heard from each of them for 4-5 minutes about how their own beliefs shape their response to climate change and the need to care for creation. The common theme of all these short talks was that we are ‘called’ to care for our world and each of our brothers and sisters in our global family.

Panel

Lobby leaflet

The whole day was spent raising our awareness of climate change issues and gaining inspiration to act to do what we can, while we can. The participants were invited to come along to the Climate Coalition Lobby taking place at Westminster on Wednesday June 17th.

Are you interested in Lobbying your new MP? Then why not join us on June 17th?
You’re invited to parliament for a day of action, solidarity and celebration of all the things we love which are affected by climate change
It’s the first chance to talk with our newly-elected MP’s after May’s general election and before December’s crucial international climate talks.
Together we can show our new government how much we care that climate change is pushing people deeper into poverty. Please join us – and the whole The Climate Coalition – for a day to remember
If you would like to join us why not book a seat on the coach that will be travelling to London and back for just £20. Contact the CAFOD Leeds Office on 0113 2759302 or email leeds@cafod.org.uk for more information.

Lent Fast Day Appeal 2015

Today marks the start of the season of Lent, a time when the Catholic community traditionally enter a period of prayer, almsgiving and fasting. Today is also the start of CAFOD’s Lent Appeal, which means that donations received until Sunday 17th May will be matched £1 for £1*, by the UK government.

We are asking volunteers and supporters to help us take advantage of this wonderful opportunity by reading out our appeal letter at Mass for our Fast Day Appeal.

If you haven’t already, please help us by arranging to read out the appeal letter in your parish, which we know makes a huge difference to how much a parish community responds to our appeal.

Materials

To get up to speed on how you can support our Lent appeal in your parish, please read through our Lent 2015 Volunteer Tool Kit.

Our simple Lent 2015 parish ‘how to’ guide will help answer any questions you need to be able to support the appeal.

Also, our Lent 2015 A3 and A4 posters can be see below and we can send copies to you to display in your parish.

Fast Day poster

Prayer Resources

We have some wonderful resources to support prayer and reflection this Lent including, Stations of the Cross, Children’s Liturgy, and a Fast Day Prayer. Our online Lenten Calendar provide a prayer and reflection for each day of Lent.

Country Focus

Our country focus this year is on Myanmar, where rebuilding your life after a devastating storm can seem an impossible task. But it was what Kyin Nu and her husband had to do after a cyclone ripped through their community. They lost their business, the food they had worked so hard to produce and worst of all, two of their daughters were killed.

Cyclone Nargis was the strongest cyclone ever to hit Myanmar (formerly named Burma). Over 150,000 people died, and 2.4 million were affected. Half of Kyin Nu’s village were killed. As with many storms, the poorest people suffered the most.

It has been a long, hard struggle for Kyin Nu, but your donations to CAFOD have made a real difference to the community. By planting trees, providing animals and paying people to rebuild roads and protective embankments, we have helped Kyin Nu and the rest of her community get back on their feet.

Thank you

Thank you for all your hard work and effort and please get in touch with the Leeds office if you require any further support leeds@cafod.org.uk

*Lent matched funding offer only valid for donations to the CAFOD Lent Appeal up to a total of £5 million, and for donations received before 17 May 2015.

 

Join us to hear about our work in Myanmar and El Salvador – Saturday 21st February

On Saturday 21st February we will welcome Clare Dixon, CAFOD’s Head of Latin America and the Caribbean, to meet CAFOD supporters at the Holy Name of Jesus church hall.

Clare will be sharing stories from her time in Myanmar, the country of focus for our Lent 2015 appeal, as well as her recent trip to El Salvador. She will be explaining CAFOD’s approach to international development and detailing how we live out our values in our work.

This is a great opportunity to hear first hand the impact that the support from across the diocese has on changing the lives of people living in poor communities around the world. Here is a video of Clare explaining the significance of the declaration of Archbishop Oscar Romero as a martyr.

The event will run 4-6pm on Saturday 21st February. You are also invited to join us for mass at 6.30pm. The address for the venue is: The Holy Name of Jesus RC Church Hall, 52 Otley Road, Leeds, LS16 6HW.

Kyin Nu from Myanmar whose story is featured in our Lenten materials

Kyin Nu from Myanmar whose story is featured in our Lenten materials

This is a change to the publicised event as unfortunately our partners from Myanmar are unable to join us.

Don’t Forget This Lent, the government is matching every pound you raise for CAFOD up to £5m! Get in touch with leeds@cafod.org.uk if you’d like to find out more or receive some help with your fundraising.