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This Lent over 600 schools nationwide, nearly a third (30%) of all Catholic schools in England and Wales, signed up to take part in CAFOD’s Big Lent Walk to tackle global poverty.

Nationwide, that represents more than 250,000 pupils. The pupils joined thousands of other individuals, friend groups, families to raise money and tackle poverty in communities around the world. 

The challenge was simple, walking 200km over 40 days. This is about 5km a day and people taking part did it as part of groups or as individuals.

200km is the equivalent of:   

  • running across 1,953 football fields   

  • climbing Blackpool Tower 1265 times

  • climbing The Shard 645 times   

  • walking up and down the Channel Tunnel 4 times.

Some schools, like St Clare’s Primary School in Leicestershire took part by walking 5 laps around school playground every morning. Others, like All Saints Catholic Primary School in Anfield took their CAFOD banner on a school trip to Seville and clocked up their miles there.

CAFOD’s challenge has been a huge success and while it ends East Sunday, so far over £249,000 has been raised and those taken part have racked up an incredible 380,000km.

Christine Allen, CAFOD’s director, said:

“It has been particularly wonderful to see so many schools take part in CAFOD’s Big Lent Walk. I continue to be inspired by the generosity and kindness of children, who time and time again show the rest of us the true meaning of Catholic Social Teaching and how to care for our sisters and brothers in need.

“We know it’s tough financially at the moment, but we are incredibly grateful to all our generous supporters, especially those who took part in the Big Lent Walk, for continuing to support us to tackle global poverty.”

This year the focus of CAFOD’s Lent fundraiser was to protect vulnerable communities against the threat of extreme weather.   

The money raised will help people such as Dristy and her mum Rupali in Bangladesh. Together, they protect nature by building seed beds and planting palm trees to protect crops from flooding and cyclones.   

  • £10 raised can provide four palm trees to protect land from extreme weather.   

  • £26 can provide tools and training to build raised beds to protect vegetables from floods.   

  • £185 can provide a place on a two-week course: growing food and adapting to extreme weather.

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