“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 lancaster@cafod.org.uk or call 01772 733310

Cardinal Newman cake sale buys cow for overseas community

Students from Cardinal Newman college in Preston have raised over £100 to spend on CAFOD World Gifts by holding a cake sale during Interfaith Week.

The group were inspired to raise money after they learned about the impact livelihoods can have on  overseas communities. They set their initial target at £100, enough to buy a ‘Marvellous moo cow’ gift from CAFOD’s World Gifts catalogue.

World Gifts are alternative charity gifts that would help transform lives and communities and will make great presents for friends, family and teachers this Christmas time.

The gift of a cow is four gifts in one for a struggling family: manure to help grow crops, milk to supplement a family’s diet, calves to pass on to other families and extra milk to be sold at the market.  The £100 raised by the cake sale at Cardinal Newman has paid for a locally-sourced cow, its jabs and training for the family so that they can look after it correctly.

Susie Stretch, who helps to run the group, said: “The CAFOD group are doing really well so far this year.  The students are motivated, focused and enthusiastic. 

“We meet every other week share to  information and news, look at CAFOD campaigns and plan events.  CAFOD volunteer Christine Dewhurst comes into college to support the group and keeps us up to date with current campaigns.

“The group started to plan their first fundraiser after we were asked if we would like to take part in the college’s celebration of interfaith week. During the week guests are invited to give talks and demonstrations, answer questions and take part in panel discussions based on religious and ethical themes. 

“The students were really positive about the idea and were especially keen on raising enough money to buy a cow.  We were able to raise £100 on the day which was particularly nice as it meant that we reached our goal of being able to buy a cow. Our next challenge is a Christmas Jumper day!”

Patrick Gardner, CAFOD’s local representative in Preston, said: “We’re so impressed by the students in the CAFOD group at Cardinal Newman. The money they have raised in their first fundraiser really will transform a family’s life.

“Their motivation and passion is inspiring! Thank you!”

Find out more about World Gifts