October 5th is right around the corner, which means Harvest Family Fast Day will be here soon! CAFOD’S volunteers in the Southwark Volunteer Centre have been working hard with Parish Volunteers and Parishes these past couple of weeks to prepare. American Student and Office Volunteer, Natalie, has joined CAFOD’s volunteer team in August and describes what she has been up to.
On my very first day at CAFOD (and only my 5th day in London), I was introduced to CAFOD’s Harvest Family Fast Day mission! Day two, I was already calling volunteers asking of their plans for Fast Day in their parishes. I began to learn about the huge impact our Parish volunteers and supporters, with the help of CAFOD, can have on changing the lives of everyone around the world.
At the last Family Fast Day, during lent, we raised together £4.3 million!
What your Family Fast Day’s donations have accomplished
With these donations, teams in Zimbabwe and Zambia began working hard to plan change for these communities, hoping to start this October! Some other projects CAFOD has successfully completed due to donations from previous Fast Days are installing water points and toilets! In 2016, 44,200 toilets were built for projects in Uganda, Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of Congo. 567 water points were installed and repaired, and 1,448 people were trained to maintain the water points and toilets!
20-year old Elizabeth in Uganda joyously states after a new tap was installed in her village, “The project has solved our water problems. We easily fetch water at whatever time, with great ease. It’s just a turn of the tap!” Elizabeth and others in her village use to have to collect water from a swamp three miles away, but thanks to your donations, 217,639 people like Elizabeth now have sustainable access to clean water!
These are just a few of the amazing feats you have helped CAFOD accomplish. I was extremely impressed with the volunteers’ enthusiasm and excitement to help organize Fast Day talks.
The parish volunteers: the experts in Family Fast Day
My tasks as an office volunteer began with calling parish volunteers, asking if they had plans yet in their parish and to encourage them to come to the preparation briefings. I am also sending emails to parish volunteers to ensure they have the information for Family Fast Day and I am advertising various events on our social media pages!
Some of the parish volunteers were so well versed in Harvest Family Fast Day already they knew exactly what to do, and even taught me a few things. Others were excited to attend the briefings to gain knowledge from CAFOD’s resources such as international speakers, previous parish volunteers and to learn more about how to make this Fast Day the best to date. With my American Accent, some parish volunteers were quick to hang up the phone, which I think has to do me sounding like a telemarketer. It was a little discouraging but I understand people may not be use to hearing my accent.
How to make Harvest Family Fast Day 2018 a success
I have learned in my short month here as an office volunteer at CAFOD that there are always people looking to go above and beyond to help. So far this year we have completed four preparation briefings, with only one left to attend!
There is still time to attend a preparation briefing or learn about how to give a talk in your parish to help make this Harvest Family Fast Day a success! Besides giving a talk at mass there are other fun alternatives to helping out, such as cooking a simple meal or bringing an after mass snack to bring the parish together. Check out our guide for Fast Day tips and tricks! Your help and support are truly changing lives. Thank you.
The Southwark volunteer centre phone number is 020 8466 9901, please call us if you need anything or have questions about Harvest Family Fast Day in your parish! Or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org