Invitation to CAFOD New Year volunteer Workshop

No One Beyond Reach

This Saturday 19th January at 9:45 am at CAFOD London office, Romero House 55 Westminster Bridge Road,  Lambeth North, SE1 7JB

This year, we are seeking to expand our reach. We know we can help more people to live life to the full and to protect our common home. Currently, we are unable to meet 1 in 3 requests for support received from some of the poorest people and communities, simply because we don’t have the funds to do so. Because of our global Catholic network and local presence, we have the potential to reach people and communities others can’t…. 

With your help, we can change this in 2019, and give everyone in our diverse community, the opportunity to help the poorest & most disadvantaged across the globe!

What Can You do to Help?

On Saturday January 19th, 09:45 – 15:00 come and discover how, with your help, will reach out to more people among the poorest communities in the world this Lent Family Fast Day. Sign-up here!

Come to our Lent Family Fast Day briefing 

But we need your help to raise awareness of CAFOD among fellow parishoners. Up to 40% of mass-goers in England & Wales, do not know who CAFOD are, or what we do.

Registraton and tickets are free from the Eventbright website here So, for Lent 2019, join us in our mission to expand our impact.

Hear stories from the field to inspire you. We have a local presence in 200 countries and territories, and you will have the opportunity to discover how we work with our international partners. Understand how we spend the money we raise. The example at this briefing will be in Bangladesh

Take part in one of these exciting workshops!

  • Learn about how you and your parish can live simply and gain an award.
  • Get together to share your experience as a parish volunteer and discuss how to reach more Catholics in our communities.
  • Discover how your parish can get Hands On to support peace building in Colombia.
  • Find out the essentials about CAFOD for new Parish Volunteers.

We will finish the briefing with a creation celebration: a Laudato Si-inspired Mass of thanksgiving for God’s gift of creation at 1pm. This  followed by a simple bring and share lunch from 2-3pm.

For further details contact the CAFOD Westminster Volunteer Centre on


or simply sign-up for our event here!

Defending the Rainforest

Fighting Climate Change
and Poverty;
For Joênia It’s Personal!

Joênia Wapixana (often spelt Wapichana) is the first Lawyer in Brazil to come from the indigenous population. She takes her name from her people, the Wapixana, who live in Northern Brazil, in the Amazonian State of Roraima. In the Brazilian presidential and congressional election, held earlier this year, she was elected to the county’s Chamber of Deputies, the first indigenous woman deputy and only the second indigenous member of the Chamber.

She was able to go to school only when, at the age of seven, her parents moved to the state Capital, Boa Vista, to seek economic opportunities outside of their home villiage. Joênia proved an able student and went on to attend the Federal University of Roraima, graduating with her law degree in 1997, specialising in Human Rights. She went to work for the Indigenous Council of Roraima (CIR) which has a long standing partnership with CAFOD. It is a grassroots indigenous organisation which advocates for the defence of indigenous rights to land, health, and education in Roraima.

In 2005 Joênia was succesful obtaining official recognition for the land known as Raposa Serra do Sol, an area of 1.7 million hectares, to become a reserve for the varous communities of indigenous people living there, including her own. Further, the area was declared an environmental conservation area. But the ruling was contested and it wasn’t until 2009 that the Court eventually confirmed the exclusive right of the indigenous population to occupy and use the land, and act as its guardians, protecting its rich environmental diversity. This meant the land was not divided to serve rice farmers’ economic interests, and continues to be constitutionally protected.

However, the story doesn’t end there and Joênia continues to fight for the rights of Brazil’s indigenous peoples against a background of increasing intolerence in the country, the continuing destruction of the Brazilian Amazon rain forest, and disregard for the effects of the climate change that will bring about. The recent Brazilian election results pose the most serious threats to indigenous peoples in Brazil since the 1988 constitution. The President-Elect, Jair Bolsonaro, has been vocal about his intentions to open indigenous lands to mining and mega-projects, not demarcate another centimetre of indigenous land, and has openly threatened Raposa Serra do Sol. Joênia’s election to the Chamber of Deputies will give her a further platform from which to conduct the fight for the rights of her people and the welfare of our planet.

Joênia and the CIR have worked with CAFOD for over 15 years. Esther Gillingham, from the CAFOD Brazil Programmes Team, will be speaking about her recent experiences of visiting partners in the Amazon on Wednesday 6th February at 2.30pm, at our Oakwood regional office. Details of this event will be released nearer the time.

Meanwhile, Joênia’s story stands testiment to what can be achieved if children, regardless of their background, are given the chance of education, which means both the time and the resources to attend school as well as a little encouragement. This is a key feature of CAFOD’s work. Remember the “Power to Be Campaign”? It also reminds us that protecting our world from climate change is the responsibility of us all, a task in which we all must play a role.

On the 18th December, Joênia, with three other human rights workers were awarded the 2018 United Nations Prize in the Field of Human Rights. Click HERE for the full story