CAFOD school and confirmation volunteer, Sister Graca Almeida, from Chiswick in West London, has been inspiring young people to ‘Turn on the Taps’ for those without water this Lent.
Sister Graca who has so far spoken over 100 people said “I was out doing my shopping when one of the many children who attended one of my recent school assemblies excitedly squealed ‘It’s the CAFOD lady’.
“Such a small day-to-day occurrence would usually not be enough to brighten up my Monday. However, this tiny thing surely meant children were interested in CAFOD and CAFOD’s work.
“CAFOD’s Lent appeal this year focusses on clean water, and having seen and lived through the effects of this in Ethiopia, it is a campaign I fully support and it excites me to spread the word to young people. We need volunteers to talk and share stories about Lent and show what the money raised can do for people in countries across the world.
“Something that will always resonate with me is when I attended an Ethiopian mother’s young son who was sick and gave him clean water. His mother responded with, ‘and this is?’ questioningly. She had never seen clean water; at the age of 33, the only water she had seen was dirty, brown, sludge.
“It is little things like this, being able to teach younger people how to give something back themselves and to be the best person they can be, that brings me great joy in what I choose to do.
“After talking to a group at Holy Trinity Church in Brook Green, they seemed really interested and eager to find out more about CAFOD’s Lent Appeal and how they can help those such as Guti in Uganda, who dropped out of school because there was no clean, safe water and had to walk to the river for water to drink or to wash.”
This Lent, money raised will enable the taps to be turned on across the world by repairing or providing water pumps and training in order to maintain them. It will also fund hygiene programmes, education in sanitation and the building of latrines. Matched funds from the UK Government will enable access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene programmes to over 300,000 people in Uganda, Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of Congo.