Patrick Jamiru got his Speaker Tour off to a great start at Christ the King Church in Thornaby last night when over 40 supporters gathered to hear about the work Caritas Kenema are doing in Sierra Leone with CAFOD funding, some of which will be the focus of our Lent Appeal this year.
He spoke with passion about the work being carried out by his team that is helping to bring hope, security and sustainable livelihoods to whole communities through rearing chickens and growing rice, cashew nut trees and cassava to establishing Savings and Internal Lending Communities (SILC) in Kenema district. He explained the intricacies of how SILC works to help people who may have a crisis, by being able to obtain help in their time of need. This could either be to pay for health care or when crops have failed. It also enabled children to attend school as mothers would ensure school fees were paid and uniforms and resources were bought. He extended grateful thanks from the communities to CAFOD supporters and spoke of it being a demonstration of our Christian responsibility to our brothers and sisters in need which was received with incredulity by people who wondered why anyone in another country would want to help them.
Later, over refreshments he spoke with different individuals personally including Sr Moira Cashmore FCJ, whose order had run schools in Kenema and Kailahun district before the civil war began.
Before he drew out the winning name of the signed Boro football which had kindly been donated earlier in the day he answered questions from the floor. A short Lent Fast day input followed by Anna Cronin-Nowakowska and Paddy O’Neill, spoke from a parish contact perspective about his long term involvement with Caritas and CAFOD. All too soon the evening was brought to an end with a reflection on Dig Deep before Deacon David took the opportunity to give his first formal blessing!