CAFOD Update and Appeal

It was a joy to meet so many of you at our recent Parish Open Day and to have the opportunity to tell you about some of Cafod’s campaigns.

Fix the Food System is a campaign running this year in support of local farmers in countries such as Bangladesh. For generations, small-scale farmers have collected seeds from the plants they grow and shared them with their neighbours. In this way they can grow a great variety of resilient local crops. It also means that if their plants are destroyed by bad weather, which is an increasing occurrence, they can replant from their store of saved seeds.

In recent years, governments across the world, supported by financial institutions such as the World Bank, have adopted seed laws which have the potential to restrict the farmers’ abilities to use their own seeds, forcing them to buy commercial seed, which is expensive and often not suitable for the local conditions. The subsequent seeds from these crops are often infertile, meaning that the farmers must buy more seed the following year. Cafod is calling for protection of the fundamental rights of small-scale farmers and has now received signed petitions from over 600 parishes, which will be delivered to the World Bank HQ in London on October 11th; many thanks to those of you who signed this at the Open Day. A small Cafod delegation is also due to attend the World Bank meeting in Morocco to speak directly to senior staff about seed policy.

We have seen many devastating effects of climate change on our World this year. Cafod has tried to increase awareness of the need for action on climate change for many years, particularly regarding the disproportionate effect on the poorest communities. Currently there is a petition to try to dissuade Rishi Sunak from following through his recent u-turn on policies to tackle the climate crisis. Please consider signing this petition, which can be found on Cafod’s website.

The Cafod Livesimply award, inspired by the teachings of Pope Francis in Laudate Si’, is offered to communities and schools who can show that they have been living:

  • simply
  • sustainably with creation
  • in solidarity with people living in poverty

There is more information about this, including resources and ideas, on the Cafod website.

Cafod’s main aim is, of course, to reach out with practical help to people in poverty and to provide emergency aid in times of disaster, working with local partners such as Caritas. None of this work would be possible without generous support from communities like St Edmund’s. We are particularly grateful to those continuing to support Cafod despite the increasing cost of living.

Cafod’s Harvest Fast Day is next Friday, 6 October, and this weekend speakers at Masses will be focussing on Cafod’s support for medical teams following the floods in Pakistan. Please take an envelope home with you and return it in the second collection next week with a donation, however small. If you are a UK taxpayer, please consider gift-aiding your donation – at no extra cost to you.

Anne Unseld

Book your tickets