The very first Family Fast Day was held 57 years ago, on Friday 11 March 1960, when volunteer members of the National Board of Catholic Women raised funds for a Dominica mother and baby clinic.
selected seeds ready for planting
This year’s Harvest Fast Day is on Friday 6 October, and focuses on the work our partners are doing in El Salvador. Use our Fast Day resources to let everyone in your parish know it is Harvest Fast Day, and invite them to get involved through fundraising and praying.
Edelmira and Martir are farmers in El Salvador. As they live on and depend on their land, the harvest they reap is vital if they are to have food to put on the table, and have enough left over to sell. The money they earn from this harvest is then used to buy clothes, medicine and other essential items.
CAFOD, working in partnership with Solidaridad CVX, work with farmers like Edelmira and Martir to provide training and reintroduce native seeds used generations ago. These indigenous seeds are strong and fertile having evolved in this region over millennia to be able to grow well in the warm, rainy climate, This ensures that the farmers will be able to harvest crops, and become confident that they will provide their families both with food and a modest income.
To enable our partners to work with more farmers like Edelmira and Martir, across the world, please do use the CAFOD resources and invite your parish to get involved this Harvest Fast Day.
More than 10 million people across Ethiopia are in dire need of food, clean water and basic sanitation, so CAFOD is appealing to its supporters across Clifton for urgent funds to help.
Please donate today
The devastating food shortage has been caused by two failed rainy seasons that has led to a severe drought, fuelled by one of the strongest El Nino weather patterns recorded.
The two failed rainy seasons, supply over 80 per cent of Ethiopia’s agricultural crops. The lack of a harvest this year has exhausted people’s ability to cope and they have simply run out of options for feeding their families and animals.
CAFOD’s partners in Ethiopia have been responding to the crisis since last year, reaching people with emergency food assistance and clean water.
How you can help
CAFOD is asking for people to give, act and pray in solidarity with the people of Ethiopia and those affected by the drought.
We are is appealing for £3 million which will allow CAFOD to scale up its current emergency response work across four of the worst affected areas; SNNPR Region State, Oromia Regional State, Tigray and Afar Regional States.
On 24 May, over 25 people gathered at St George’s Catholic Centre, Taunton, to hear how they can respond to the refugee crisis. Speakers from CAFOD in partnership with RAFT and Taunton Welcomes Refugees shared the activities going on locally and internationally to help displaced individuals across the world.
Elizabeth Baldwin from CAFOD invited the audience to show solidarity with refugees and take part in unique events involving the Lampedusa Cross; handmade crosses carved by Italian carpenter, Francisco Tuccio, from the driftwood of capsized refugee boats.
Download our resources on the Lampedusa Cross pilgrimage
Pope Francis carried a Lampedusa cross at a memorial service for those who had died and one of the crosses is being displayed in the British Museum. Mr Tuccio has now gifted some of his crosses to CAFOD as a symbol for communities in England and Wales who are responding to the refugee crisis. This may be by completing pilgrimages and sharing messages of welcome, hope and love, which will be shared with refugees in November.