Hannah’s CAFOD Adventure in Sierra Leone

Step into the Gap volunteer Hannah Collinson is heading to Sierra Leone as part of her CAFOD gap year! Read her thoughts below… 

Hannah Collinson

Hannah is travelling to Sierra Leone

At the end of January, as part of my year with Step into the Gap, I will be travelling to Sierra Leone for two and a half weeks. During this time, myself and three other CAFOD gappers will visit Freetown, Kambia and Bo.

In these three towns we will be visiting different CAFOD partners such as KADDRO which focuses on livelihood support and emergency response in Kambia; The Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary who work to improve water, agriculture, sanitation and hygiene in Bo and CARITAS which focuses on good governance and security in Freetown.

We will also be meeting the CAFOD staff in the Sierra Leone office and spending time with the communities that CAFOD and our partners have helped and are continuing to help. I am excited to meet the communities, to see the impact first hand and to really learn valuable lessons that will inspire and humble us on our journeys. Although at times it may be difficult, I am really hoping to experience the sense of hope and progress within the communities after the Ebola Crisis.

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From Nicaragua to Newcastle

Three overseas visitors came to Newcastle to share information about the vital work they carry out in some of the world’s poorest countries, that your generous donations have helped to fund. 


Moise, Kelechi and Winston talking to CAFOD supporters

Moise Liboto Makuta, Kelechi Emeh and Winston Berrios spoke of their experiences in Niger, Nigeria and Nicaragua respectively.

The trio all work as Overseas Programme Officers for CAFOD.

Niger suffers from regular droughts and suffered a severe food crisis in 2012 which affected five million people.

In Nigeria,  work focuses on peace building and humanitarian assistance, among other areas. In Nicaragua, work includes improving housing, water, nutrition and education.

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Catholics across Newcastle raise over £15,000 to ‘turn on the taps’ across the world this Easter 

Katie Binns reports on some amazing efforts for our Lenten appeal.

Uganda Lent 2016 parish photo Proscovia

Proscovia no longer had to trek for miles to get water for her village in Uganda.

Parishioners and pupils in the Newcastle area have raised an astounding £15,692.31 for Catholic aid agency CAFOD’s Lenten appeal. Catholics across the UK were asked to help ‘turn on the taps’ throughout Lent in a bid to provide clean and safe water around for those in the poorest communities.

St. Cuthbert’s School in North Shields held a Lenten Lunch for the students and teachers to raise awareness about the appeal whilst St. Stephen’s Primary School in Longbenton raised money by turning their regular healthy food snack shack into a soup shack. The school’s representative, Kate Swaddle, said:

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Children from St. Cuthbert’s School. North Shields.

“The pupils realized that having access to clean water helped and impacted on hygiene, sanitation and the children’s education as they could collect water more quickly than before with the help of this appeal.”

CAFOD’s Community Participation Coordinator in Newcastle, David Cross, said:

“Being able to turn on a tap and have clean water is something we normally take for granted. That’s why we’re so grateful to everyone in Newcastle who have raised money for our Lent appeal, helping families to access this basic right and empowering girls to get an education and fulfil their potential. It’s brilliant to think that their efforts will have the double the impact with the UK Government matching the money raised.”

The money raised will enable the taps to be turned on in villages around the world by repairing or providing water pumps and training in order to maintain them. It will also fund hygiene programs, education in sanitation, and the building of latrines. Matched funds from the UK Government will enable access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene programs to over 300,000 people in Uganda, Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of Congo.