Power to the People | 6th July 2016

Speak Up week of action campaign is back! Last week in conjunction with Laudato Si’ CAFOD is encouraging all of us to Speak Up this autumn for the love of Go’s creation and our global family. 

A year ago, CAFOD along with 9000 members of the public called on their local MPs for action against climate change. Last year leaders around the world agreed to act on climate change, this year CAFOD is more motivated than ever to make sure our government upholds its promises.

The Power to the People event on Wednesday 6th July, was highly informative and inspiring. This year between the 8th – 16th October marks CAFODs Speak Up week of action, in which you have the chance to Speak Up to you local MP and call for action on climate change and energy access. The event on Wednesday demonstrated the close links between Laudato Si’ and our brothers and sisters who do not have access to renewable energy resources.

‘I urgently appeal, then, for a new dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet. We need a conversation which includes everyone’ (Laudato Si’ #14)

CAFOD Power to the people Sarah E. Hagger-Holt

CAFOD Campaign Engagement Manager Sarah E. Hagger-Holt speaking at Power to the People event

The aim of the event was and is, to re-inspire campaigners ‘about the opportunities that we’ve got. Climate change isn’t going to go away, it’s a huge issue. We know that it has been a huge success so far, in what we’ve been part of, achieving the agreement in Paris, just that we’ve got people here from many many different parishes and groups. Bringing that international issues into a local context.’ (Sarah Hagger-Holt)

The event provided international issues to be brought back to a local level through various group discussions as well as visiting speaker Takura Gwatinyanya, a CAFOD partner Caritas Harare. Takura was able to give insight into the support CAFOD has given through varying programmes in Zimbabwe.


CAFOD Caritas Harare Takura Gwatinyanya Speak Up Power to the People

CAFOD partner Caritas Harare Takura Gwatinyanya with Maria Elena Arana speaking at Power to the People event

Currently 45% of rural people have no safe access to water or sanitation. With 60% of water supply infrastructure in disrepair. We at CAFOD believe that water is precious, and so should be shared by all people on earth.

Through your support CAFOD has been able to address the challenges that the communities of Zimbabwe face. Communities in Zimbabwe are not always connected to the national grid. Often these communities will strip away the forest to create wood to burn and create light. CAFOD is therefore encouraging and working with local partners to improve access to renewable power for the poorest communities.

It is difficult to think of access to electricity or power as an issue of poverty. But we encourage you to take a moment of reflection and think:

How have you used electricity in the last day?

Introducing of solar piped water schemes, has allowed access to water boreholes much easier for women to collect, as it is often the women who are sent to collect water. Through the local schools, CAFOD has been able to introduce sanitation education, promoting health and hygiene.

Another focus of the work that CAFOD do in Zimbabwe, is to promote the use of renewable resources. An example of this is through the use of solar panels, health centres are able to stay open for longer, achieved by being able to turn on the light. In addition to this health centres are able refrigerate the medicines successfully, thanks to solar panels.

Get involved today with CAFOD and Speak Up against climate change. Organise or join an event near you this October. Speak Up to your MP and bring your local parish, school or community together to care for God’s creation.



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