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UK - Volunteers - Audra

Audra is a parish volunteer for CAFOD.

Volunteering for CAFOD has helped Audra find a way to support people in the country where she was born, Zimbabwe, with the challenges they face.

What inspired you to get involved?

Since moving to my parish in 2014, it has been a real journey for me to find a charity I can get behind. Let’s face it, there are so many demands on our time, attention and funds that it’s hard to know what the best place is to direct your efforts towards. I had heard of CAFOD before, as it is well-known as a major international development charity and the official aid agency of the Catholic Church in England and Wales. But what made my ears prick up was not only what it does, but where.

I was born and grew up in beautiful, sunny Zimbabwe, and I left at the age of 23 to travel and work abroad. I didn’t know at the time that, while I was away, my country would plummet into economic chaos and turmoil – or that it would still be ongoing.

I have since made my home in the UK out of necessity, as to make a living in Zimbabwe is challenging in every way. I am very grateful and incredibly blessed for the opportunities afforded me here but I’m really mindful that, while I have been lucky enough to find a new home, many Zimbabweans do not have that luxury.

Volunteering for CAFOD has helped me find a way to support people back home, in some of the challenges they face. These projects mean a lot to the people back home, and it helps to know I can do something to help from so far away.

What is special about CAFOD for you?

The good news is that CAFOD does so much more to help people living in poverty worldwide. CAFOD is a member of Caritas Internationalis – a group of over 160 Catholic agencies from around the world. It is known as ‘the helping hand of the Church’. Because these agencies work through local churches, they can reach people and places that others can’t, which is particularly important in times of crisis.

What do you do as a volunteer?

I am a parish volunteer, promoting CAFOD in my parish. We have different CAFOD parish projects - we have monthly cake sales, donation boxes and quarterly appeals. These are small things, but will surely go towards really changing a life.

What would you say to someone thinking of volunteering?

You can make a difference too! There are many ways to help. It doesn’t have to be just about fundraising and donating, but about campaigning for social justice and prayer.