Despite the heavy wind and rain, our amazing supporters from Mary’s Church took part in the Walk for Water this Easter Sunday, generating some fantastic support for our new Thirst For Change Campaign! The idea came from Katie, who thought that perhaps, as a group, the parishioners could walk to collect water, reflecting the journey our brothers and sisters make every day to collect the water they need in their communities. Gathering at Evening Hill, near Sandbanks, they made the 10 mile journey to Hengistbury Head, near Christchurch, and after a break for lunch, collected water in their buckets and made the journey back.
“We eventually arrived back at Evening Hill with everyone feeling the effects of the 8 hour 20 mile round trip,” says Simon O’Connor, a CAFOD parish contact, who joined the group. “The younger ones among us did really well to keep going and complete the journey. I can now imagine what it’s like for the young women in the developing world that have to walk similar distances every day to bring back water. They must have very arduous and frustrating journeys especially considering the collected water is often dirty.”
“Father Mark did a great job in raising the profile by way of various announcements during Masses before and after the walk, praising what we were doing as “a reflection of daily life in the poorest communities worldwide.” We have had a lot of interest from parishioners as the walk really captured their imagination, and our sponsors have been very generous. It was a great community-in-action event; people have latched on to the UK Aid Match Scheme, encouraging supporters further and raising the profile of CAFOD.”
The money raised will of course be matched pound for pound, as the Government continues to support CAFOD in the UK Aid Match Scheme. That means, until the 17th May this year, all donations marked under this scheme will have double the impact. Andrew Mitchell, Secretary of State for International Development tells us how this is helping CAFOD carry out its vital work: “CAFOD is working to improve water access, sanitation and hygiene for some of the world’s most vulnerable and neglected people, including those affected by war, climate change and disease. It is potentially life saving work, tackling cholera, helping girls attend school rather than having to fetch water and ensuring that children know about hygiene and waterborne diseases. By matching pound for pound all public donations, the UK government will help CAFOD double its impact, ensuring tens of thousands more families have access to clean water and sanitation and are provided with everything from water purification kits and soap to training in how to fix a broken borehole.” It’s a brilliant year for us at CAFOD, as we celebrate 50 years of incredible life-transforming work, and begin our fresh, new and exciting campaign, Thirst For Change. Getting involved is so easy – there’s so much going on! Visit http://www.cafod.org.uk where you can find links to CAFOD Plymouth’s blog, youth packs and posters promoting the campaign, and even email the Prime Minister to turn the tide on water poverty. With so much going on, even the smallest act has the potential to change lives. Go on, give it a try!