International Women’s Day 2018

Written by Annie Powell

Today we commemorate the amazing work of women all over the world. International Women’s Day is not only a celebration of the social, political and economic achievements of women over the past 100 years, but a reminder of the worldwide unification still needed as we strive for empowerment and parity.

CAFOD believes in the dignity and value of every person, regardless of gender. Tackling poverty requires equality, with both woman and men being part of the solution. Therefore, as we fight for the rights of our sisters and brothers all over the world, we must recognise the enhanced benefits for families and society provided by women and girls.

On International Women’s Day, CAFOD wants to highlight and celebrate our partners’ commitment to achieving gender equality.

Marian lives in Zimbabwe. For years she was unable to provide the food and water needed for her son to be a healthy and happy boy. However, with the donations from CAFOD’s supporters, she has been provided with the training and seeds required to produce vegetables for her family and the community. She now has another son who thrives as every child deserves.


This is an example of the amazing work of just one woman, and something that could be the reality for so many more as we continue to push for a world where the barriers that stop women from reaching their full potential are permanently removed.

Find out more about CAFOD’s work with women. 

Fulwood parishioners fight hunger across the world this Lent

Parishioners from Our Lady St Edwards church, Fulwood, hosted a simple soup lunch on 3 March to help communities around the world to grow crops and receive better nutrition as part of CAFOD’s Lent Appeal.

OLSE Soup lunch 2018.jpg

Over fifty people attended the soup lunch which offered nine different varieties of homemade soup, and raised over £300 for the charity.  There were also stalls selling goods from Traidcraft, a raffle and members of the community selling homemade knitted goods.

Stephen Garsed, a member of the parish CAFOD Group who helped to organise the event, said: “Despite the freezing weather and biting wind, over 50 people came to what is a parish social event as well as a fundraiser. However, it is just a small part of what we do as a parish to make a better world, which is very important to us.

OLSE Lent 2018.jpg“It is great that our parish priest, Canon Horn is so supportive and encourages people who want to help. Having worked overseas, he has witnessed extreme poverty first-hand and has a great commitment to social justice”.

The CAFOD group is also very active in campaigning for a fairer world because they see that alleviating immediate poverty is just part of helping the poor and disadvantaged; the group feel we also need to deal with the root causes of poverty.

In an added boost,  all donations to CAFOD’s Lent Appeal, up to £5 million, will be doubled by the UK government up until 12 May – meaning every donation will make double the difference.

This Lent, CAFOD is working to combat malnutrition in Zimbabwe by providing seeds and farming training for families and communities so that everyone has enough to eat.

The funds raised by this year’s Lent appeal will reach an estimated 245,000 people in Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Eritrea and enable communities to grow a better future by providing safe water, supporting communities to plant vegetable gardens and teaching them about good nutrition and hygiene.

CAFOD’s representative in Lancaster, Patrick Gardner, said: “The Lent appeal is such a great way of bringing people together and raising an incredible amount to help others. We’re very grateful for all of the support across

“I’m delighted that the UK government is matching donations made by parishes like Our Lady St Edwards to CAFOD’s work, showing how important the money raised will be for some of the world’s poorest people.”

Donate to the Lent Appeal and make double the difference!     

Have you held a soup lunch in your school or parish? We’d love to hear about it. Let us know by emailing





“A bridge from a place of suffering to a better world”

This week, it was an honour to welcome Livison, CAFOD’s project officer from Zimbabwe, to the Lancaster Diocese as part of his speaking tour around the North West and North East of England this Lent.

Livison spoke to almost 60 CAFOD volunteers and supporters at the events in Poulton-le-Fylde and Preston, who came out to welcome him and learn about CAFOD’s projects in Zimbabwe, the country which this year’s Lent appeal is focusing on.

Speaking about how CAFOD funded projects are helping to combat hunger and malnutrition in the country, Livison told the story of Marian and her family, including

Marian and family

seven year old son, Svondo.

Svondo’s brother, Tawanda, never had enough food growing up so he cried a lot and didn’t play.  But thanks to CAFOD supporters from England and Wales, his brother Svondo has enough food to eat to keep him healthy. This means he plays a lot and loves peanut butter!


Livison shared with volunteers a direct message from Marian:

“I’m very grateful to CAFOD supporters for what they’ve done. You have been a bridge from a place of suffering to a better world. If I were to meet you, it would be such a blessing. I’d like to ask you, what drives you to give to others? Is it your kindness?”

It was an honour to welcome Livison to Lancaster and hearing his stories was truly inspiring.  We even had a little time to explore the local area and experience a true British delicacy – fish and chips!

Learn more about this Family Fast Day

Are you holding any events this Lent in your parish or school? Giving something up? Let us know – we’d love to celebrate your story!

Email or call 01772 733310