Lent appeal turns on the taps for people across the world

Cafod Lent Appeal. Picture: David Mutua, CAFOD
Cafod Lent Appeal. Picture: David Mutua, CAFOD

Catholics in Banbury are ‘turning on the taps’ and helping to provide clean and safe water across the world as part of this year’s CAFOD Lent fundraising campaign.

All donations to CAFOD’s Lent Fast Day Appeal will be doubled by the UK government’s Department for International Development until May.

Parishes and schools will be raising funds in a variety of ways and last year £3,578 was collected in the area in Lent fundraisers.

Today, 783 million people are living without access to clean water. 2.5 billion lack something as basic as a toilet and sewage system to flush away their waste. It is also estimated that women and girls spend 140 million hours a day collecting water, which means time away from work, school or playing with friends.

CAFOD’s representative for Banbury, Julia Hood, said: “Lent Fast Days are such a great way of bringing people together and raising an incredible amount to help others. I’m delighted that the UK government is matching CAFOD’s work for the third time, this proves how important these initiatives are for people all over the world.

“Lent is a time when we look to make a transformation in our own lives. In making this transformation, we aim to see one in the world around us. We therefore put our faith into action by ensuring as many people as possible have access to the basic right of safe and clean drinking water.”

The money raised will enable the taps to be turned on in villages in Uganda, Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of Congo by repairing or providing water pumps and training in order to maintain them. It will also fund education in sanitation and the building of latrines.

This seemingly simple gift dramatically changes lives, such as that of 14-year-old Proscovia from Northern Uganda. Proscovia had to leave school to collect water for the family, whilst her mum was out earning money to buy food. One in four people in Uganda do not have access to safe water.

CAFOD partners were able to repair the water pump in Proscovia’s village and the change in Proscovia’s life came overnight – the pump by her home, allowed the family to get the water when they needed it. She had time for school and could pursue her goal of becoming an engineer. CAFOD partners also taught Proscovia’s mother how to maintain the pump, so if it broke in the future she, or anyone else nearby could then fix it for themselves.