Warton parishioners hold special Lent service to fundraise for East African communities

Holy Family CAFOD team

Holy Family CAFOD team

Warton parishioners have held a prayer service which has helped to raise over £200 to help millions of people facing starvation in East Africa.

On 7 April, the Holy Family CAFOD team, Warton, organised a Lenten prayer service to help raise funds for the aid agency’s East Africa Appeal. A large group gathered for the prayer service where attendees reflected on the crisis, whilst listening to parish members from the CAFOD team talk about each of the individual countries that the crisis has affected.

After the prayer service, everyone was invited to write a message for people in East Africa on a leaf – which was then hung on a tree, as an act of solidarity.

CAFOD volunteer Hayley Benyon, who helped organise the event, said:

“From six-years-old to 80 years young – our CAFOD team all felt compelled to take time out to pray together, for the families suffering due to climate change and conflict. CAFOD is our “faith in action”, helping people in desperate need – we also prayed for Yemen which is close to our hearts.

“We are encouraged by the fact that CAFOD and its partners are distributing aid and offering solidarity grants to families in need. One of our parishioner’s mothers wrote a poem about CAFOD 20 years ago, which her daughter read to end our service and it is still relevant in 2017.”

In East Africa, there are currently over 16 million people in need of urgent food and other life-saving assistance. Despite the challenges, CAFOD makes sure that aid reaches the families who are most in need, through the network of trusted local organisations which CAFOD works with in South Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya.

CAFOD Director Chris Bain said:

“We would like to say a huge thanks to the communities in England and Wales who have given generously, coming together to help communities affected by drought and conflict.”

“The generosity of the British population as a whole has also been heart-warming. CAFOD is a member of the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), whose East Africa Crisis Appeal has raised over £42 million.”

Donate to CAFOD’s East Africa Appeal Crisis 

 

Lost Family Portraits winter Refugee Crisis Appeal

Did you know….the Syrian conflict has been going on for longer than the First World War? More than 250,000 people have died and more than four million people have fled Syria into neighbouring countries, living in truly dire conditions. CAFOD’s Church and local partners are on the frontline of the crisis providing urgently needed blankets, mattresses, warm clothing and food to some of the most vulnerable families. This is the biggest humanitarian emergency of our era. When a family receives a blanket, food parcel, hygiene kit, or medical attention, dignity and a sense of hope is restored.

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Mahmoud’s wife died when a missile hit their house in Syria. He and his three children now live in Bekaa refugee camp.

Winter is here and refugee families desperately need support. Please donate to our Refugee Crisis Appeal today.

Our partner Caritas Lebanon Migrant Centre are supporting refugee families living in informal tent settlements in the Bekaa valley, Lebanon, only nine kilometres from the Syrian border. Their plight has been portrayed in a moving series of portraits by the award-winning photographer, Dario Mitidieri, working with us, our partner and the creative agency M&C Saatchi. We visited the families living in the informal settlements in December.

Studio-style portraits were made of families whose lives were shattered as they fled the conflict, with empty chairs symbolising the loved ones they had to leave behind. Each photograph reveals the desperate choices families were forced to make to reach safety.

See the Lost Family Portraits

This is the biggest humanitarian emergency of our era

Matthew Carter, CAFOD’s Humanitarian Director, said:

“It is horrific to hear what these women, children and men have already gone through. Now they are facing winter in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley, which is 5,000ft above sea level, where temperatures can fall to minus five.  The hardship for families like these, who struggle daily to cope with inadequate conditions and uncertain prospects for the future, is heart-breaking.

“Money from our winter appeal will allow us to meet the humanitarian demands not only in Lebanon, but inside Syria and other neighbouring countries, as well as in Europe.

“When a family receives a blanket, food parcel, hygiene kit, or medical attention, dignity and a sense of hope is restored.”

“Dario’s photographs are a reminder that we need to share the stories of refugees. We see the faces of people who have fled for their lives. They are not merely statistics.”

See Dario Mitidieri’s photos from Bekaa refugee camp

Please donate to our Refugee Crisis Appeal today

Find out more about the refugee crisis and where we are working

We provide a weekly ‘CAFOD fact’ as a short ‘Did You Know?’ to parishes across the Lancaster Diocese, which they print in their parish newsletters. If you would be interested in receiving this weekly email, let us know at CAFOD Lancaster and we’ll send it directly to you too – email: lancaster@cafod.org.uk

CAFOD responds to refugee crisis

id you know… thanks to your donations, CAFOD is working with our partners to provide emergency aid to refugees as they arrive in Greece? Providing food packs, baby kits, including nappies and milk, rain jackets to help people cope this winter and establishing chemical toilets and showers. As well as working in Greece, CAFOD is providing food, healthcare and emergency supplies to thousands of refugees in Serbia, Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and to people within Syria whose lives have been torn apart by the war but who cannot afford to leave the country.

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Find out more about our response to the refugee crisis

Please join us in praying for the refugees and please donate to our refugee crisis appeal.

We provide a weekly ‘CAFOD fact’ as a short ‘Did You Know?’ to parishes across the Lancaster Diocese, which they print in their parish newsletters. If you would be interested in receiving this weekly email, let us know at CAFOD Lancaster and we’ll send it directly to you too – email: lancaster@cafod.org.uk