CAFOD was born when volunteer members of the National Board of Catholic Women organised the first Family Fast Day on Friday, March 11, 1960. Two years later, CAFOD was officially registered. Since then CAFOD has continued to grow, alleviating poverty and working for global justice.
CAFOD’s mission is to work alongside the world’s poorest people. They work without prejudice, they don’t preach, and they pride themselves on their diversity. They believe our Catholic values are best shown through working for justice and an end to poverty. CAFOD’s Vision, Mission and Values draw directly from Catholic Social Teaching (CST), Scripture and the tradition of the Church. CST is at the heart of what they do and who they are. As well as asking supporters to donate and campaign, they place equal importance on prayer. Prayer informs and underpins their work.
CAFOD is an integral part of the Catholic Church. Their supporters are mainly from the Catholic community and their mandate comes from the Bishop’s Conference of England and Wales, but they welcome support from people of all faiths and none. They have offices in each diocese of England and Wales, which work directly with the parish communities in their area. The value of partnership, present throughout CST, is central to CAFOD’s work overseas. They rely on and empower local partners who have technical expertise. Because they are part of their communities, they are best placed to respond to needs. Where appropriate, they work through the Catholic Church. This extends thier reach: often it’s the Church that reaches the poorest people, in areas where social care and government structures aren’t so strong.
Helping people make a living:
Nobody wants to live on handouts. So CAFOD fund work to ensure women and men in developing countries can make a decent living, access markets, and meet their families’ needs long term. In particular they are:
- increasing access to clean water, education and healthcare.
- ensuring the private sector adopts fair working practices and conditions.
- helping partners to set up effective programmes and services in their communities.
- lobbying the UK government and EU to implement policies which help developing countries.
Disaster and emergency response:
CAFOD fund work with vulnerable communities before, during and after emergencies happen to:
- ensure they have the resources to survive, minimise and recover from emergencies and environmental threats.
- work for peace and security, reducing the risk of violence, forced displacement or armed conflict.
- lobby the UK and EU governments to prevent, respond and resolve conflicts and emergencies.
Campaigning and advocacy:
CAFOD challenge those with power to adopt policies that promote justice and end poverty by:
- lobbying, petitioning, marching, and being vocal at key events.
- working individually and through networks to create a powerful voice for change and justice.
To do this they raise funds and encourage action from the Catholic community and beyond, and they are sustained by their prayer and commitment.
Education in the UK:
CAFOD work with the Catholic Church of England and Wales to raise awareness and inspire commitment to end injustice and poverty in developing countries. They focus on:
- encouraging Catholics to give, take action and pray, both individually and communally.
- linking Catholics in England and Wales with communities in developing countries, based on dignity and equality.
- empowering and educating young Catholics to respond to the call for global justice.