Respond to malnutrition in Zimbabwe this Lent with Family Fast Day

Marjorie Henry-Lawrence who lives in the diocese of Southwark is one of our office volunteers. She’s shared with us what she has discovered about malnutrition from the CAFOD Lent Fast Day briefing.

Svondo, 7 years old, enjoying peanut butter. He is healthy. Thanks to CAFOD's partner who supported his mum, Marian with vegetables seeds and training..

Svondo, 7 years old, enjoying peanut butter. He is healthy. Thanks to CAFOD’s partner who supported his mum, Marian with vegetables seeds and training.

‘I was dismayed to hear that across the world, malnutrition still kills almost three million children every year! I had absolutely no idea about this.  It is so sad to hear that for children who survive malnutrition, the effects can be long-lasting. Lack of nutritious food can stunt growth and even if children have a good diet in later life, the effects of early malnutrition remain, for example many undernourished children never reach their full height potential.

Meet Svondo in our Lent Family Fast Day Video.

It was fascinating to hear that in Zimbabwe the collapse of the economy, combined with climate change has led to the country struggling to produce enough food for everyone to eat. It is so sad to know that in Zimbabwe, one in four children under five have stunted growth from not getting enough decent food.

It’s very exciting to learn that CAFOD’s response means we can do something about it. I was touched by Marian’s story. To know that Tawanda was so hungry he’d sit in the same place all day is terrible. To know that Marian’s youngest son, Svondo, is healthy and growing well because CAFOD’s partners supported Marian by giving her vegetable seeds, nutrition and farming training inspires me to participate in the Lent Family Fast Day in my parish.

The UK-AID matching up all donations to 5 million means that all our efforts can be doubled… how moving.’

If you want to hear more about Zimbabwe and CAFOD’s response :

  1. Join your local Family Fast Day briefing
  2. Watch CAFOD Lent Family Fast day video and meet Svondo
  3. Download our Lent Family Fast Day resources online

40 days to Lent Family Fast Day: Come to a briefing.

CAFOD Family Fast Day is on the 23rd February. It’s time to get ready for the talks in parishes. Come to a briefing to discover more and be ready. Get a flavour now and meet Marian and her family from Zimbabwe.

Marian stands proudly with other members of Chinyama community vegetable garden, holding her two-month-old baby girl Talent.

Marian stands proudly with other members of Chinyama community vegetable garden, holding her two-month-old baby girl Talent.

This year Lent Family Fast Day is taking you on a journey to Zimbabwe. Marian and her two sons, the family we follow, go from malnourishment – to hope and wellbeing. Explore this year’s story . This journey is made possible by your kind donations. Let’s work together to end the malnutrition that takes the lives of three million children every year.

Marian’s 1st son Tawanda grew up malnourished, too weak to move around. Now he is a blossoming vegetable farmer who has grown in confidence and health. Svondo the 2nd son aged 7 years old, escaped the pangs of hunger as he is fed with the vegetables and beans that his mother grows. Svondo loves peanut butter – who doesn’t!

Marian successfully grows enough to sustain her family and thanks to little Svondo who fetches the water, the garden is well looked after.

This Lent your donations will have an even bigger value as the UK Government is matching donations – up the value of £5 million. Discover more about match funding.

This is your invitation to join us for the Family Lent briefings:

Thursday 18 January
19:30 – 21:00
Saturday 20 January
10:00 – 12:30
Thursday 25th January
11:30 – 13:30
Saturday 27th January
10:00 – 14:30

This Lent join us in fasting, praying and giving. We are the body of Christ in this world and as Jesus gave his life for us, so too we are called to live our lives for others.

Please book on one of the briefings today by:.
  • Clicking on the links above and register online
  • or email us at
  • or call the Southwark Volunteer Centre on 020 8466 9901

You can find all of your Lent Family Fast Day briefings online.


Your New Year’s Resolution: Volunteer with CAFOD!

Make 2018 the year you meet new friends, inspire others to act for social justice, and use your skills to help our sisters and brothers working to overcome poverty around the globe. Make 2018 the year you volunteer with CAFOD.

CAFOD volunteers receiving a Thank you certificate for their volunteering

CAFOD volunteers receiving a Thank you certificate for their volunteering

A  number of our volunteers have recently received awards to mark 5 or more years of service to CAFOD. These volunteers are not alone is giving their time to CAFOD. Taken together, the sum total of all the time given to CAFOD by volunteers totals about 640 years. There is a simple reason why so many people volunteer for CAFOD, and that is that volunteering is rewarding. As award winner John Foley said “the reward is just in helping CAFOD”.

We are especially looking for…

CAFOD volunteers at a Family Fast Day briefing

CAFOD volunteers at a Family Fast Day briefing

Good organisers to volunteer, part-time over 10 weeks, in our office in Waterloo or Bromley to help coordinate Lent Fast Day. So this  is an urgent call.  To understand the context come and attend a briefing on Lent Family Fast Day taking place over the coming weeks. Book a briefing now
Confident public speakers who could visit schools or churches to speak about CAFOD’s work.
Good communicators interested in updating our social media or making phone calls on our behalf.

Do you wish something else? Click on the links below to find out more.

  1. Pray for the work of CAFOD and our world one day each week.
  2. Make a regular gift to support our work. You can even specifically support our work in emergencies or in your Parish’s Connect2 Community.
  3. Write (or change) your will this year. Could you consider leaving a gift to CAFOD? We have info on how to do this for free.
  4. Use our resources in church with Confirmation, Communion or Children’s Liturgy.
  5. Sign up to receive updates from our blog.
  6. Campaign with us – raise your voice about issues of injustice.
  7. Hold an event in your community to raise awareness or funds for CAFOD – Use your talents, passions and your imagination. Do what you enjoy, and do it for CAFOD. Our Family Fast Day is a perfect opportunity to do this.
  8. Follow us on Facebook or Twitter
  9. Become an MP Correspondent – help to ensure that the voices of many of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people are heard in the corridors of power

If you have been spurred to action – become a Volunteer with CAFOD and help eliminate poverty now. Jeremiah 29:11 says, ‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord. ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’ Come Lord Jesus, come and let your light shine through us so that through our actions we may be salt for the earth, a light in people’s sight and that we might reach out to you in one another, especially those in need.

Please get in touch with us on or 020 8466 9901 to find out  more about how you can make a difference.