Walking for Water in the hottest place on earth

Did you make a New Year’s resolution this year? Or maybe you already gave up on it? It is not too late. You can still make a slightly belated one, and really make a difference this Lent. Learn about a young man called Abdella  who walks 10 hours every day to get water to his family.

Afar AbdallaAbdella is 23, he has dreams and plans for the future. Yet, every single day he has to spend 10 hours collecting water for his family… there is not much time left to do anything else after. Recently, Abdella was joined in his treacherous journey by CAFOD Writer Mark Chamberlain. Listen to the recent webinar to hear Mark’s vivid story, where he shares his experience of walking the 5-mile trek for water in one of the hottest places on earth.

He is joined in discussion by Ethiopia CAFOD Representative Teamrat Belai; MarkAbdella walking to the first water point-1 and Teamrat talk about the challenges facing the country, and what can be done to provide clean water in dry areas. 

Leading up to the Walk for Water Lent challenge (starting on Saturday 20th February), this special online talk  sheds light on why this issue is so important to us, and why we are coming together as a Catholic community to raise money to help end water poverty.

Why should Southwark volunteers Walk for Water

WFWShow  support to people who do not have access to fresh drinking water and help to end water poverty once and for all. This way we are fundraising as a Catholic Community  community to help end water poverty. Make difference this Lent get your walking shoes or trainers on and walk  10000 steps a day for 40 days of Lent – join Walk for Water

Join the Big Walk for Water

On Saturday 20 February, Southwark CPC’s will be doing the Big Walk for Water. Marine and Celeste will walk over 7 bridges in London and Sarah will take a walk along the river Thames in Kent. Perhaps you are taking a daily walk for exercise, could you incorporate he walk for water into that? Join in where you are to walk 5 miles, 10,000 steps or whatever distance you can manage. Walk around your garden, around your home, or pray the stations of the cross and follow the Lenten calendar to show Southwark solidarity with Abdella. Sponsor the Southwark Team’s Big Walk for Water on our JustGiving Page

Don’t forget to share videos of you taking a walk or pictures of your walks to southwark@cafod.org.uk or send a Tweet to @CAFODSouthwark or send a Facebook post @cafodsouthwark

What’s next after Harvest? Julie is sharing her ideas.

Julie Valentine is a parish Volunteer at Our Lady Queen of Peace in East Sheen. She reflects on her experience of this Harvest Family Fast Day and what is coming up next for us all. 

Harvest in a Nut shell

Julie Valentine from East Sheen shares her experience on Harvest Fast Day in her parish

What was Harvest like this year? I heard that some parishes like St James the Great in Petts Wood achieved very substantial collections for Harvest and got a good response from their parishioners to donate via their mobile phones.  Or other parishes like Our Lady of the Rosary in Sidcup managed to advertise successfully in the parish newsletter and social media.  A few parishes like St Vincent de Paul, Battersea, were even brave enough to try the cashless payment with ordering some devices from CAFOD.  These examples were very uplifting and show the wonderful commitment of my fellow volunteers and their parish communities.

For me though, Harvest Fast Day was disappointing and flat.  With the church still not open for Sunday Mass, there were no posters, no inspiring talk at the Masses, no satisfaction of watching the pile of envelopes mount up in the collection basket.  Our priest kindly circulated the CAFOD Newsletter and did his best to remind parishioners during the Zoom Mass and, to me, it all passed with scarcely a ripple …

So here we go again, I thought.  Back into relative lockdown and now also face the prospect of a “non-Christmas”.  How about all those people that CAFOD works with, for whom every year is probably a “non-Christmas”?  They are still battling their own problems, their own helplessness, their own hopelessness… But does it have to be like that?  “No one beyond reach” is our motto.  Time to pull up my socks and think creatively about how I can continue to do even a tiny bit for CAFOD!  In my country, Jamaica, we have a saying “one-one coco fill basket” (Coco is a small root vegetable).  I must try to contribute my coco. 

What’s next after Harvest?

First stop : the CAFOD Website

First stop, the CAFOD website.  What are other people doing?  Wonderful things – I saw the runners in the marathon and heard of parishes raising thousands of pounds with sponsored runs and walks.  That’s one option, maybe not for me though but my grand children!  https://cafod.org.uk/Fundraise/A-Z-of-fundraising-ideas

Continue reading

February CAFOD Lent Fast Day Briefing in Southwark

This Lent Fast Day we will be hearing about how Florence from Zambia turned one tiny fish into a thriving business and a future for her family, with your help.


CAFOD Volunteer during Harvest Fast Day Briefing 2016

Come along to one of our CAFOD Lent Fast Day Briefing. Find out all you need to know about the coming Lent Fast Day and the community we are focussing on in Zambia. Share ideas with other volunteers about how you can raise awareness in your parish.


You will also hear our guest Speaker Claire Dixon, head of CAFOD latin America, share her experience on how CAFOD works with its partners.

Please come along to one of our Fast Day Briefing:

3 February in Bexleyheath / 10:30am -12:30pm – St John Vianney. 21 Heathfield Road, Bexleyheath, DA6 8NP. Register here
4 February in Amigo Hall, Lambeth/ workshop 2 – 12:15pm-2:45pm – Lambeth, London SE1 7HY, next to St Georges Cathedral. Special guest: Clare Dixon CAFOD head of Latin America.  Register here
6 February (tbc) at St Josephs Bromley / 8-9pm – 1 Orchard Road, Bromley, BR1 2PR
11 February at CAFOD Volunteer Centre the Church of Christ the King, 1st Floor, 29 Bramley Road, London, N14 4HE from 10am – 12noon. This meeting will include a talk by guest speaker Mark Chamberlain, who has first hand experience of the projects in Zambia which we will promoting this Fast Day. Register here

Book online or for more information please contact us at the Southwark Volunteer Centre on 020 8466 9901

Lent Fast Day is Friday 10 March, and if you are the Fast Day contact in your parish, your pack will be with you in the first week of February.