CAFOD Clifton launches major appeal to respond to the devastating drought gripping Ethiopia

Ethiopia Food Crisis Appeal 01 ADCS Mekele Herit-18 (2).jpgMore 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.

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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.

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An evening of reflection: Taunton responds to the refugee crisis

DSC_0026On 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.

Elizabeth  said:

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And the award for the best costume goes to…

What a day!

Here at CAFOD’s Clifton office, we’re still on a high after our first Nativity Fun Run.

It was an early start for us today, with our alarms going off at 6am so we could be up early to set the course up, and it’s just as well we did as the first entrants turned up nice and early, keen to limber up and get going.

And then it was starting guns and the children were off on their 800m course. There were fantastic costumes. We loved the team of shepherds from St Francis Catholic Primary School in Nailsea (and well done to Jess for winning).

Jess, 11, Flo, 11, Millie, 10, Emily, 11, and Rebecca, 10, dressed up as shepherds for the run.

Jess, 11, Flo, 11, Millie, 10, Emily, 11, and Rebecca, 10, dressed up as shepherds for the run.

There were a couple of tiny shepherds in their dressing gowns as well, plus one or two stars, an angel, a tiny reindeer, and Mary without her Joseph.

Little Josh Loud, at four years old, was the youngest runner, dressing up as a reindeer.

Little Josh Loud, at four years old, was the youngest runner, dressing up as a reindeer.

The adults were impatient to get going too. They had six laps of the course to do to rack up their 5km. There were some great costumes in this category as well, the McKennas were in big reindeer onesies, many of the men donned dressing gowns and tea towels to become shepherds (extra credit goes to those who ran with a cuddly toy lamb tucked under their arm), and a special mention must go to Amanda Pritchard, the headteacher of St Teresa’s Catholic Primary School in Monks Park, Bristol, who wore an all-in-one donkey suit.

Amanda Pritchard, head at St Teresa's Catholic Primary School, dresses as a donkey for CAFOD's Nativity Run

Amanda Pritchard, head at St Teresa’s Catholic Primary School, dresses as a donkey for CAFOD’s Nativity Run

The run itself had a great atmosphere. Keen runners who finished early lined the route to cheer on the others – there was plenty of Christmas spirit in evidence!

But it wasn’t just about the run or the costumes of course. CAFOD relies on people’s help and support to raise money for its work abroad, and this event will really contribute. This was our first Nativity run and we thought it was such a success that we’re already talking about how we can make it bigger and better next year.

Thanks for everyone’s support; we hope the event has given you all a spring in your step; it’s certainly done that for us.