CAFOD Lobbies Parliament on the Eradication of Poverty

On 17th October, the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, CAFOD organised a Parliamentary lobby to speak up for the UK’s crucial role tackling poverty around the world. The event was focussed on constituencies where there are either new MPs, or MPs who especially need to hear their constituents’ support for UK government spending on aid. The Constituency of Bath (MP, Wera Hobhouse: Lib Dem) was one, and the constituency for Chippenham, (MP Michelle Donelan: Conservative) was another.

In the morning there were arranged activities and speakers, together with a wide range of constituents sharing their reasons why they care about development and support public spending on aid, all getting prepared to meet individual MP’s later in the afternoon. Help and support was provided for those who had not met their MP before.

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Tony Threlfall with Michelle Donelan MP

“My MP for Chippenham, Michelle Donelan (Conservative), hadn’t replied to any of my phone calls and emails. However, there is a process called green carding where you report to the central lobby in the Houses of Parliament and request a meeting. She arrived within 10 minutes! She confirmed the government’s commitment to maintain the 0.7% of our GDP for the life of this Parliament. I invited her to meet the Syrian Refugees and their families at St. Patricks Church Hall where we teach them English, with the intention of giving her the opportunity to value the UK contribution and to appreciate and come to understand the experiences of the refugees.  It was also a good opportunity to ensure she knows and supports the work of CAFOD. Our centre is only 50 yards from her constituency office. I have been asked to drop possible dates and times at her office which I did. I also spoke with Jeremy Corbyn at Portcullis House where other CAFOD and other aid agency volunteers were meeting their MPs. He was happy to support our efforts and be photographed with the volunteers.

Find out more here about how you can help CAFOD campaign on vital issues.

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Tony Threlfall outside Parliament

St. Dunstan’s Parish funds Connect2:Ethiopia programme

For the past year, St Dunstan’s has been in contact with the village of Sebeya in the Tigray region of Ethiopia through CAFOD, funding the work of the organisation there.

Clarice

Clarice Corfield writes: “a year ago our parish chose to support one of the CAFOD projects overseas and the parishioners voted to fund the Connect2:Ethiopia programme. During the year we have been in contact with the village of Sebeya in the Tigray region of Ethiopia and have sent donations. We have since received ‘thank you’ messages and also updates from them.  We find this two-way communication very important and so children from our Children’s Liturgy group have been sending cards to the children in Sebeya. They have also been saving 1p and 2p coins and built a ‘penny trail’ in our parish hall. The money raised was also sent to Sebeya. We also had a wonderful Ethiopian evening when we heard a talk from an Ethiopian speaker and tasted delicious Ethiopian food.

I decided to do something myself and tried to live for 5 days on £5. It was not so easy, lots of rice, lentils and bread for 5 days with the occasional ‘treat’ of a fried egg. With only £1 a day you cannot eat anything fresh or dairy products let alone meat or fish. For me it was only 5 days for millions of people it is so for life. There are many who have less than that to spend on food.

 The parish raised almost £790 and I am extremely grateful for the generosity of the people who sponsored me. One of the main problems in Sebeya is the lack of fresh water. Our parish will continue to raise funds to enable Sebeya to have this reliable access to water”.

Children of Sebeya