Seeing the world in a new way

Sophia is a Gap Year Volunteer with CAFOD and shares with us some of what she has experienced over the past few months.

Sophia running for CAFOD as part of her walk for water and half marathon training.

This academic year I am taking part in Step Into the Gap, CAFOD’s gap year programme. In a usual year, I would be working with schools or in a retreat centre and we would be taking an international trip. The times being what they are, I am working from home doing tasks for the education section, and there is no international trip.

Yet, sometimes a loss can be a gain: instead of focusing on learning solely about the country that we are due to visit, we have instead been meeting a country representative or programme officer from a different country each month, which is giving us a fuller picture of CAFOD’s extensive work around the world. This Lent, I shall be sharing some reflections from these calls.

Find out more about Step into the Gap

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Quiz Night For The Zimbabwe Food Crisis Appeal

Michelle Aterton is a volunteer in the Birchington Parish.With two fellow volunteers they organised a fun quiz night in aid of  CAFOD’S Zimbabwe and Zambia food crisis appeal.  They tell us all about it and how you could do the same in your parish. 

Birchington Thanet:The Parish that quizes together in aid of CAFOD’s Zimbabwe Food Crisis Appeal 

Birchington Parishioners enjoying a quizz night in aid of the food crisis appeal in Zimbabwe and Zambia.

Birchington Parishioners enjoying a quizz night in aid of the food crisis appeal in Zimbabwe and Zambia.

On a cold Winter’s night, 24 January 2020, in Birchington on the Thanet north coast, the Parish of the Holy Family held a magnificent Quiz for CAFOD.  The evening raised £467 for the Zimbabwe and Zambia Food Crisis appeal. Over 50 people took part, including two parishioners from Zimbabwe.

Inspired? Organise your own Quiz Night  

Sr Angela Cronin Responds to the Zimbabwe and Zambia Emergency Alert

All generations in the parish met for the Quiz Night to respond to the food crisis appeal in Zimbabwe and Zambia

All generations in the parish met for the Quiz Night to respond to the food crisis appeal in Zimbabwe and Zambia

The evening was opened by Sr. Angela Cronin, who explained that we had gathered together to share bread and to share what we raised from the evening with our brothers and sisters in Zimbabwe and Zambia. Sr Angela had responded to a letter from Jo Kitterick, the Head of Fundraising and Participation at CAFOD, who had alerted her to the crisis in these countries.

Sr. Angela explained that this crisis had brought crippling drought and spiraling food prices that continue to worsen the food shortages in both countries. She added that local Church aid workers have been working around the clock to get food and safe, clean water to communities in need.

Understand more about what is happening in Zimbabwe 

A Successful Evening of fun, Prayer and Supper Together

On the night, the quiz teams were ably compered by quiz masters Tony London and John Wiltshire.Then at half-time, we prayed with Sr. Angela, the prayer for people who hunger, and then Sr. Angela said “now enjoy your cheese Ploughman’s Supper!” The Winning Team including two parishioners from Zimbabwe.

At the end of the night of competitive quizzing, the two parishioners from Zimbabwe expressed their appreciation for support for the people of their homeland.

Well done to the Holy Family Parish! It’s your turn to Organise a Quiz Night, have fun, socialise with your fellow parishioners and raise much needed funds to transform the lives of our brothers and sisters overseas! We’d love to hear you quiz night stories and see your pictures!

Donate to the Zimbabwe and Zambia Food Crisis Appeal



Why East Africa needs you : a lunch-talk with Dc Tesfa Mahari.

Thank you to Streatham and Clapham United Nations Association who organised a simple lunch on Saturday, 29th April 1.00pm to find out why East Africa needs your help.

Picking wild leaves to eat South Sudan David Mutua.jpg

A woman from South Sudan collecting wild leaves to eat. Photo by David Mutua

The event was held at the English Martyrs Church lower hall (2 Mitcham Lane, Streatham, SW16 6NN) to understand why East Africa needs us . Guests were invited to share a simple bread and cheese lunch, with a lecture that talks about the East African Famine.

The talk’s principal lecturer was Dr. Tesfa Mehari, from the International Business and Economics Department of the University of Greenwich. She discussed the causes, immediate needs and longer term solutions for the East African crisis.


Food distributions in South Sudan; Photos taken by David Mutua

This event aimed to raise funds and awareness for these communities suffering severely of hunger caused by long periods of drought. The proceeds from this event will be split between UNICEF and CAFOD. More information available here.

Our thanks goes out to Sarah and her United Nations Association group who organised this.