Volunteers from all over the Westminster diocese received a visit from special pen friends in the form of two Ethiopian priests on Tuesday who came to thank parishioners for supporting their community through CAFOD.
Abba Solomon and Abba Teum, from the village of Sebeya in northern Ethiopia, visited Romero House in Central London on Tuesday, 3 June, where they were welcomed by a community of CAFOD volunteers. Among them were volunteers from a number of parishes in Westminster who have been building a relationship with the community of Sebeya over the last year through the Catholic aid agency CAFOD’s Connect2 programme. The initiative brings together schools and parishes in England and Wales together with communities in Ethiopia and other poor countries which benefit from their fundraising so the two can gain a deeper understanding of each other’s lives, learn from each other and forge stronger ties.
Talking to a full room, Abba Solomon explained how Catholics, Orthodox Christians and Muslims all work very closely together in Sebeya. They help build each other’s places of worship and attend weddings and funerals regardless of the person’s faith. These close ties, Solomon told us, allowed CAFOD to work effectively with everyone in Sebeya. Tamiru Legesse, CAFOD’s communication director in Ethiopia, expanded upon how CAFOD had helped provide access to clean water for Sebeya.
Abba Solomon said: “We’ve been so welcomed. We’d like to thank everyone for their hospitality and kindness and for their continued support to our community in Sebeya.Sebeya is beautiful and peaceful but extremely arid. People’s practical support here has meant that our children now have clean water to drink at school and due to better water storage and irrigation facilities families have more confidence that their crops will grow and they can feed themselves when the rains fail and also sell their extra produce. Knowing that people here understand the challenges and want to help us overcome them is immeasurable.”
CAFOD’s manager for the Westminster Diocese, Tony Sheen said: “We’re really honoured that Abba Solomon and Abba Teum are able to spend some time with us here and it has inspired us all to continue working to change the lives of people in Ethiopia.”
Our next event is our Climate Change Campaign Launch Event on Thursday, 10 July. Come and meet Anthony Mbandi, CAFOD partner from Kenya, who will be sharing his firsthand account of how climate change is affecting people in his diocese and how green energy projects are transforming people’s lives. The event will be held between 6pm-8:30pm in Amigo Hall.
To book a place, please follow this link: http://www.cafod.org.uk/campaignsummerevents.
Alternatively you can contact CAFOD Westminster on 02084496970 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.