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No one should have to risk everything to feed their family

No one should have to risk everything to feed their family

This Lent you can help people like James the fisherman feed their families, not just for today or tomorrow, but for good.

Donate now to help hardworking families this Lent

Thousands of women and men around the world face the same question: without a way of getting enough food throughout the year, how do you make sure your family can eat today and tomorrow?  

This was the question that James, a fisherman in Liberia, found himself asking. And he wasn’t alone. 

Lent calendar 23 February

James with his partner and their son on the beach

How do you make sure your family can eat today and tomorrow?

James’s family hadn’t eaten for two days. Their neighbours had helped them through hard times in the past, but they had nothing to give now.  

He risked losing everything to go out onto the water. Five fishermen a month – many he called ‘brothers’ – were dying in storms at sea. Just like him, they couldn't afford the life jackets, compasses and other equipment needed to stay safe at sea and get a good catch. 

“When the storm comes, it empowers the ocean,” says James. “I can remember a storm not long ago, when we lost a lot of friends. The ocean was very rough. We got swept out far to sea. It took our friends from us. We survived by the grace of God.” 

When he came back home 16 hours later - aching, exhausted, hungry - he would be empty handed.  

James knew – his family knew – it was becoming more difficult to survive.  

When the storm comes, it empowers the ocean

James, a fisherman in Liberia

What your money could buy

Thanks to support from people like you, James has the tools and training he asked for to fish safely. Continued support has bought him not just a compass, but a life jacket and a GPS fish-tracking system to find the best fishing spots and make his way home safely with an even bigger catch.   

Now James wants more people like him to get the chance to feed their families safely throughout the year and to achieve their plans and dreams. 

Your urgent support for CAFOD's Lent Appeal can help hardworking people like James get the tools they need to feed their families for good. 

FAQs about Lent

Lent is a time of reflection and renewal leading up to the celebration of Easter. It lasts for 40 days from Ash Wednesday to Holy Saturday (not including Sundays).  

The practice is based on Jesus’ 40 days in the desert where he fasted, prayed and had to face temptation (Luke 4: 1-13). 

Many people think of it as a time to ‘give something up’, but actually it is an opportunity to make important changes in our lives. We can spend the time thinking about how we live, whether we have got our priorities right, saying sorry for the things we have done wrong, and preparing to live in a better way. Then we will be ready for the great celebration of Easter. 

During Lent, Christians are asked to pray, to fast and to share what they have with people who are poor (almsgiving). In this way they re-connect with God, with themselves, and with their neighbours.  

Easter in 2024 falls on Sunday 31 March. Good Friday is on Friday 29 March.

Easter moves each year because it is always celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full moon that follows the spring equinox. Jesus’ death and resurrection took place around the Jewish Passover, which is also calculated on the lunar calendar.

This Lent, CAFOD’s Family Fast Day will be on Friday 23 February. The first Family Fast Day was held by a pioneering group of women in 1960. Read more about what the outcome was of that work. We invite you to get involved with our Family Fast Day this year.

You can buy an Easter card and also lots of lovely Easter treats through CAFOD World Gifts. Look out for: Fantastic Fisherfolk. A perfect Easter gift for your loved ones.

Thanks to a generous donor, every online donation made on Friday 23, Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 February can be matched, up to a maximum of £40,000. So an online donation of £2 becomes £4, and a £20 donation becomes £40. All online donations will be matched until the £40,000 is met. We’re very grateful to the donor who has enabled us to fundraise in this way, and double the impact of online donations made over the Fast Day weekend.