English Martyrs go green for CAFOD

Margaret Hodgson, our wonderful Schools’ Volunteer Coordinator, recently visited The English Martyrs School in Hartlepool. 

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English Martyrs students play Sometimes, Always, Never

When you finish a can of coke (or other fizzy drink) do you make sure it gets recycled? Do you eat lots of fresh fruit and vegetables instead of pre-packaged meals? Do you use both sides of a piece of paper? These are just some of the questions we asked students at English Martyrs to see just how environmentally aware they were.

In a change from their normal Geography lessons, CAFOD were invited in to work with the students on the issue of climate change. The game Sometimes, Always, Never is always a favourite, asking the young people to give one of the three answers to twenty questions that explore different things we could do to help reduce climate change.

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Getting to grips with the climate change game

This was followed by the climate change game, a classic board game with a twist that, as the name suggests, presents students with a variety climate change dilemmas to overcome!

It was a great time to visit as we’ve just launched a new campaign, Power to Be, that asks governments and the World Bank to invest more in renewable energy. This will not only help offset climate change but also provide poor people living in rural areas with a much needed source of power. If you’d like to get involved, please follow the link to our webpage.

Coffee Morning Fundraising for Yemen at St Anne’s!

Crissi Booth reports on some fantastic fundraising efforts carried out by St Anne’s, Winlaton.

St Anne’s have been known for their generous donations and fundraising for CAFOD, so we spoke to Marie Cooper about what they’ve been upto!

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Parishioners working together to raise money!

“We held a coffee morning on Saturday March 4 in our Church Hall. This was preceeded by a Mass in thanksgiving for the work of CAFOD. In the 2 weeks prior to our coffee morning, we sold lots of raffle tickets before Sunday Mass – during the coffee morning we managed to sell even more!

We had lots of stalls; a tombola, bric a brac, a cake stall with homemade cakes, and, of 27.03 St Annes Winlatoncourse, tea and coffee. Everything on the stalls was very kindly donated by our generous parishioners. The total we raised during the 1.5 hours was £800!

In addition to this coffee morning, we have more upcoming events to raise money for Yemen. At St. Joseph’s, Blaydon, we will be having Stations of the Cross every Friday of Lent. This will be followed by homemade soup and crusty bread, and tea and biscuits, and all donations are welcome. As mentioned, the proceeds will go to the Yemen appeal.”

We will check back with Marie to find out how the fundraising is going! Go on the website to find out more about the Yemen Crisis Appeal, and ways that you could get involved with raising some money!

Phoenix Group goes fishing

When Margaret Hodgson was invited to visit Holy Family Phoenix Group she thought she might do things a little bit differently…

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Margaret, Jean, from the Phoenix Group, and Bob the Fish.

The Phoenix Group was formed to give women in Holy Family, Hartlepool, a chance to meet up for a talk from an invited speaker. Last week, they asked our Schools’ Volunteer Coordinator, Margaret Hodgson, to tell them a little bit about CAFOD. Margaret is currently busy touring primary schools around the diocese introducing Bob the Fish and explaining how he has helped feed families in Zambia. So when the invite came she knew exactly what she wanted to do: armed with inflatable fish and her trusty pick-up stick she invited the Phoenix Group to go fishing. The thought of being parted from their cup of tea and dragged down to a windswept river bank caused momentary panic, but Margaret was quickly able to explain that what she was suggesting was only a game, though one with a serious purpose.

 

When her husband died in a mining accident, Florence had no money with which to feed her children. She was helped by the Sisters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, supported by CAFOD, to learn how to farm fish. Now Florence has found a way to provide for her family and has encouraged other people in her community to do the same.

 

So, back to the game. Margaret invited her audience to grab one of her inflatable fish out of an imaginary pond using the pick-up stick with each fish representing a positive outcome for Florence and her community:

  • As well as eating the fish, families can sell the fish to buy other things they need.
  • The money which people like Florence get from selling the fish at market can be used by them to pay for their children to have an education.
  • Florence and her friends have been able to set up a savings club with the money left over from selling the fish. Sometimes they give money to help others.
  • When the ponds are drained there is lots mud which is full of good stuff from the fish droppings. This can be spread on the fields to help crops grow.

It’s another example of how the generosity of the Catholic community of England and Wales, allied to the hard work of CAFOD’s partners and the people they serve, can really make a difference to people’s lives. The Phoenix Group were certainly impressed and it will be a long time before they forget their fishing trip!

If you would like to support projects like the one that helped Florence, please visit our webpage.