“Bishop Drainey met with two CAFOD country Programme Managers recently, Conor Molloy works in Ethiopia and Kayode Akintola works in Sierra Leone and Liberia. The meeting was an opportunity to share CAFOD’s work in each country with our Bishop.
Conor, who works on a tripartite agreement between CAFOD, SCIAF and Trocaire (CST), gave a brief recent history of Ethiopia. Following a state of emergency until 2016 and huge protests following the drought brought about by the EI Nino phenomenon which was the worst drought in living memory.
A second EI Nino, starting in the Indian Ocean affected more lowland areas and caused more than 2 million people to be displaced between September 2017 and April 2018. At the same time there has been positive engagement taking place between Ethiopia and Eritrea and the first delegation of Eritrean’s was hosted this month which will hopefully herald a renewed peace between the two nations. CAFOD’s work includes supporting Women’s Empowerment and Resilient Communities Programmes in the country.
Kayode told the Bishop that Sierra Leone was the 6th poorest country on the United Nations index and that the Ebola crisis had brought the country to its knees. Faith leaders had played a key role during the outbreak as they were trusted by their local communities, who explained the need for ‘safe burials’ of victims to reduce the risk of contamination. Following the Ebola outbreak, a mudslide around the capital city, Freetown, has claimed more than 600,000 lives. There has been a new social government elected which is still in its first 100 days in government. At the end of the meeting, Conor and Kayode extended thanks to CAFOD volunteers and supporters in Middlesbrough on behalf of their respective communities.
Bishop Drainey thanked Conor and Kayode for their visit and said there is need to raise awareness and widen people’s perspectives about the realities of life in other countries”.