Lent 2020

We need your help to provide more local experts. 

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All over the world, even in the most remote and challenging environments, your support is achieving incredible, life-changing results due to the knowledge and commitment of the highly skilled local experts working on our behalf.

Spotlight on Zimbabwe

Sister Consilia is a 34-year-old, highly skilled and trained Pharmacist, working in the Mission Hospital in Gokwe, a rural area in the central region of Zimbabwe. She is one of the only health professionals for miles around and each day, young mothers and pregnant women walk for up to 9 miles to get to the clinic for her help. She treats sick people, pregnant mothers and babies, many of whom come to the centre without enough money for baby clothes or food for themselves. Sister Consilia works tirelessly from sunrise to sundown and by the time she is finished her day, she could easily have weighed, advised and cared for up to 60 women and babies.

A growing crisis

Maternal mortality rates in Zimbabwe have risen sharply over the past 25 years and this tragic increase is now being severely compounded by the recent extreme food shortages caused by two major crises over the last year: Cyclone Idai and a major drought currently hitting Zimbabwe and Zambia. 

The deadly combination of extreme weather and prolonged economic meltdown is creating a humanitarian disaster, for millions of people facing hunger and malaria problems in Zimbabwe with pregnant women, new mothers and babies and young children being some of the most vulnerable and hardest hit.

CAFOD is already sending funds to the emergency drought response and our local humanitarian experts are carrying out rapid assessments in the worst-affected communities. Through our Church network, we have intensified our efforts over the last few months to provide families in need with emergency food and safe, clean water.

However, despite all these problems, Sister Consilia and her colleagues keep working with incredible results. Despite the difficulty in finding food due to the drought and working to tackle diseases like malaria, cholera and typhoid, not one single mum or baby has been lost at the clinic this year.

Success like this doesn’t happen by accident. Sister Consilia works six days a week, most weeks of the year and the rest of the hospital staff work similar hours. They work so hard because the need is so great.

Sister Consilia is an example of one of the many committed local experts around the world your donation could support this Lent. There are countless others who are saving babies lives; giving children a chance to finish their education; and gifting adults the resources, skills and tools they need to ensure their family can thrive.

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