Greetings from Zimbabwe

Dear Friend,

Livison ChipatisoThank you all for a warm welcome to your parish/ group. It was lovely to meet you all. I arrived safely back in Zimbabwe on Sunday 25 February and immediately got back to work as a lot of developments had taken place in my absence. That meant postponing my vacation to go and see my family, which all of you were asking about when I was in UK. Well, I eventually went on two weeks’ vacation and I just got back to work last week. My family, especially my boys were very keen on knowing more about the trip and my stay in the UK and I have told them how awesome you all are, how you took care of me and fed me.

Last week I was in Binga, one of Zimbabwe’s remotest districts in the north-western part of the country and this week I am in Gokwe (where Marian and Svondo live – I will make it a point to visit them to relay more feedback and answers to Marian’s question that I continue to get from you). My current trips to these districts are to provide guidance and support to our Caritas partner staff members who work on the ground as we finalise some of the work previously supported by CAFOD on farming and disaster preparedness in these areas. The project is coming to an end at the end of June 2018.

I told you about the rainfall and as I said, we had a fair rainy season. I am glad to say that those who planted drought tolerant crops with the help from CAFOD and partners did well in a season like this. I also talked a lot on how we are helping build resilience within these communities including diversifying livelihoods using for example livestock. The late rains indeed managed to improve the pastures to some extent. But indeed, as Laudato Si’ says, we could be witnessing effects of climate change.

I have memories of all the parishes that I went to and I have safely stored the pictures that we were taken together as I treasure them very much. Of course I didn’t have much time at each parish, but I managed to get a bit of time to tour Liverpool and Newcastle cities. It also helped that we didn’t have a car in Leeds so through walking, I got to have some insights of that great city. I also remember the legendary stories that I was told of in the once fishing hub – Hull city. There were also moments of honour – Thornleigh, Salesian college having made a banner of me- oh, I was humbled. There are a lot of you who housed me in their homes, I cannot go case by case because I will end up needing to write a novel just on your hospitality: from washing my clothes, preparing extra good meals, taking me out, and making sure that I was overly comfortable. I joked with my wife one day when I was there that I don’t miss home! From the bottom of my heart, I say, thank you so much.

We are heading towards general elections in Zimbabwe and I believe you fasted and prayed for us as we are still going about our work without any disturbance like in that past. We are peaceful. To those who love nature, please come and visit us and remember to just pass by our office. It would be a pleasure to see some of you again. Regards,


Help us to reach our £5m target

Farming training 2

Farming training for school children

On today’s fast day appeal, we are calling on every individual who wishes to support charity work to help as much as they can to support the good work CAFOD is doing in Zimbabwe, Zambia and Eritrea.


A lot of people need help, they are crying out and calling on us to support them as much as we can. No amount will be too small, what matters is the heart where the gift is coming from. We can’t do it alone without your assistance, that’s why we are calling on every individual who has the zeal, to donate to CAFOD.

Hospital bed

Hospital bed

Please be as generous as you can, make double the difference to our brothers and sisters living in poverty. Throughout Lent, your donations to CAFOD will be doubled  by the UK Government, up to a total of £5m. At the moment our appeal has reached £1.5m, which is brilliant, but we would really like to reach our £5m total target and we need your help to do it. Some of the projects your Family Fast Day donations will be spent on include:



Family support


Thanks very much for your support.

Volunteers unite to fight hunger

Middlesbrough Catholics are hosting ‘family fast days’ to help communities around the world to grow crops and receive better nutrition


Marian Magumise and family


Worldwide, one in nine people regularly go hungry. Malnutrition kills almost three million children a year. Even for a child who survive malnutrition, their growth can be stunted, and it can cause irreversible damage to mental development.

This Lent, CAFOD is working to combat malnutrition in Zimbabwe by providing seeds and farming training for families and communities so that everyone has enough to eat.

Paul Hururapwi

CAFOD helped our partners restore the Chiwashira dam and reservoir in Zimbabwe so that Paul Hururapwi and his community could benefit from safe drinking water.

Middlesbrough Catholics are hosting ‘family fast days’ to help communities around the world to grow crops and receive better nutrition as part of this year’s CAFOD Lent fundraising campaign.


Simple soup lunches will be held in various locations across the town. Mrs Geraldine Butterfield from St Clare’s church, Brookfield, says “Every Friday throughout Lent we hold soup lunches and donate the proceeds to CAFOD. It’s our way of showing solidarity with people who go hungry in other parts of the world”.  

In an added boost, all donations to CAFOD’s Lent Appeal, up to £5 million, will be doubled by the UK government up until 12 May – meaning every donation will make double the difference.

The funds raised by CAFOD’s Lent appeal will reach an estimated 245,000 people in Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Eritrea and enable communities to grow a better future by providing safe water, supporting communities to plant vegetable gardens and teaching them about good nutrition and hygiene.

Mavis LFD18

Mavis Ngwenya, 42, is a Lead Mother in Kariyangwe, Zimbabawe.


Marian Magumise from Zimbabwe told us how she struggled each day to find enough food to feed her son Tawanda. He grew up hungry. As he became thinner, she became more fearful. “I had to leave Tawanda in the morning to find work,” she told me. “I’d come back in the afternoon and I’d find him still sitting in the same place. He hadn’t played, or even walked. It was very painful to see him like that.”