From Zimbabwe to Battersea via a vegetable garden

Jed Murphy is a CAFOD volunteer in the Southwark Diocese. Jed went to speak at mass for Lent Family Fast Day last weekend at the Parish of the Sacred Heart Church in Battersea. Here, he writes about his message and experience. 

Sacred Heart Parish is a wonderfully vibrant parish located in the heart of Battersea.   It was founded in 1875 and is in the care of the Salesians of Don Bosco.

Your donations made a difference

Parish of the Sacred Heart Church, Battersea (Photo: CAFOD)

Parish of the Sacred Heart Church, Battersea (Photo: CAFOD)

This year’s Fast Day talk centred on Marian and her two sons, Tawanda & Svondo, who live in Zimbabwe.  When Tawanda was growing up, Marian didn’t have enough food to give him. It was heartbreaking to see.   When Tawanda was a teenager, Marian had another son, Svondo. He was brought up on fresh vegetables, beans and peanut butter. Now seven years old, Svondo is growing healthy and strong. He plays with his friends. He’s happy.

And the difference? Your donations to CAFOD helped to give Marian some seeds.   And she did the rest.  She worked hard month after month to grow a vegetable garden until it flourished and provided food for her family.

Discover Marian’s story in a video

No child should have to go hungry

But the message this Lent is that no child should have to go hungry.

And this Lent our donations can make double the impact:  for every pound you donate to CAFOD, the UK Government will also donate a pound.

At no extra cost, twice the number of lives can be transformed. Twice the number of children can have the opportunity to grow up healthy and strong.

This Friday go without a meal and give to CAFOD

This Friday I hope you can take part in Family Fast Day by going without a meal, or having a simple meal and giving generously to CAFOD.

The magnificent Sacred Heart Church (Photo: CAFOD)

The magnificent Sacred Heart Church (Photo: CAFOD)

During Mass, Father reminded us all that this weekend is the start of our Lentern journey towards Easter.  Even the weather seemed to point to the first few bright days of Spring on the way.

Let’s use this Lent to remember our less fortunate brother & sisters around the world.  

I wanted to say a very big thank-you to Fr Gerry O’Shaughnessy, Fr. Peter Pagac and Deacon Michael Kennedy and all the parishioners who made me feel so welcome this weekend.

As Fr O’Shaughnessy said this morning: ‘Happy Lent’.

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Photo: CAFOD

 

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.

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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.

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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.

Frugal meal for lent : come and join us!

soup-shortlandShortlands Soup Lunch: Thursday 9 March – 1pm-2pm

We will be offering a delicious soup lunch at the CAFOD Southwark Volunteer Centre (St Catherine’s Cottage, Bishop Challoner School, 288 Bromley Road, Shortlands, Bromley, BR2 0AB) on Thursday 9th March between 1pm and 2pm. Please join us for a simple soup lunch in solidarity with our sisters and brothers living in poverty around the world. Let us know if you are coming.

soup-tunbridge wellsFast Day bread and soup lunch – 12noon-1:30pm Friday 10 March, Tunbridge Wells

St Augustine’s Justice and Peace group invite you to share a simple soup and bread lunch in solidarity with our sisters and brothers who are hungry. Proceeds to CAFOD. Location: St Augustine’s Church, Crescent Road, TN1 2LY

Do let us know if you are planning on holding your own soup lunch, special children’s liturgy or other event for CAFOD’s Lent Appeal in your own parish.

We hope the preparations for Lent Fast Day are going well