This year’s CAFOD Lent appeal features the story of 23-year-old Abdella who lives in a remote and mountainous part of Ethiopia and has no choice but to walk ten hours a day collecting water. He says his life is being wasted as he has no time to do anything else.
Moved by his story, communities in East Anglia are finding ways to support CAFOD’s 2021 Lent appeal. CAFOD is calling on supporters to commit to one or both of its Lent challenges. One is to walk, run, skip or jump 10,000 steps a day. The other is to join supporters across England and Wales in the Big Walk for Water on February 20 at 2pm. Money raised will be enable CAFOD’s local experts to undertake water projects, including one that will help Abdella’s community.
Lowestoft parish have set up a JustGiving page and have invited other parishes in their deanery to join them. Mairead Perkins’s CAFOD deanery coordinator explained for motivation for joining the Walk for Water.
“Walking in solidarity has to be done! God calls us to love our neighbour as ourselves. I see the Walk for Water campaign as a way of acting out my faith together with my neighbours in my deanery and my neighbours worldwide.”
Norwich supporters have also taken up the challenge, Sarah Ebelewicz from St John the Baptist Cathedral parish has set up her own JustGiving page. She says:
“This Lent I’m taking on the Walk for Water Challenge. Seven years ago, when visiting Peru, I became very aware of the issues around water poverty. One in three people in the world don’t have access to a clean safe water supply – something we all take for granted.”
Sarah is aiming to raise £750 which will pay for the work involved in installing solar panels, pumps, irrigation channels for a village water supply for clean safe water. If you’d like to support Sarah’s challenge through JustGiving donate through Sarah’s Just Giving page.
St George’s parish team of Fr Sean, Joyce, Heather and Mary have signed up to walk 10,000 steps for the 40 days of Lent as they walk the dogs, Dylan, Susie, Blue and Bertie. If you’d like to sponsor them through JustGiving donate through the St George’s Just Giving page.
Joyce Gibson, a member of the parish CAFOD group, who walks her neighbour’s dog Susie every day said,
“No one should be without access to clean water in today’s world! I am walking mainly around Thorpe St. Andrew, Norwich. CAFOD is very close to my heart, it is my duty to help the less fortunate in any way that I can through prayer and fundraising.”
St Laurence’s Parish in Cambridge have an ingenious plan to virtually walk the 5,640 miles from Cambridge to Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia. It’s a long way so they’ve invited other parishes in Cambridge to join them.
Serga Collet, parish organiser said: “It would be great to add up our steps in a city-wide challenge for Catholic churches, and put them to good use. For people in the dry and harsh mountainous region in the north of Ethiopia walking for water is the harsh reality of everyday life. We want this Lenten journey to be both spiritual and physical and accessible to all, even the dogs of the parish are getting in on the act including Bentley, Fr Simon’s dog.”
If you’d like to share your Walk for Water story or would like help in setting up a JustGiving page, please do contact Jane Crone firstname.lastname@example.org 07779 804252.
To find out more about Abdella’s daily walk CAFOD have produced a Lent video which can be shared on parish websites and Facebook groups.
Pictured above are CAFOD supporters from Lowestoft and, below, Abdella