Our recent visitors from El Salvador, Julia and Sandra whose community has been supported by Parishes in the area were welcomed by the wonderful Catholic Women’s League (CWL) at St Martha’s Catholic Church in Little Common, Bexhill-On-Sea.
The CWL regularly host Lenten soup lunches in the area and were delighted to host our visitors. Over 50 years ago the CWL, together with the Union of Catholic Mothers and the National Board of Catholic Women decided to raise funds for a mother and baby project in Dominica. As a way of doing this, they suggested to the Catholic Community of England and Wales that we give up a meal and donate the money saved to the project. This was amazingly successful and in repeating the initiative it grew and eventually became CAFOD. Thus it was with great joy and excitement that we arranged for the visit of our partners to the CWL soup lunch.
The Parish of Bexhill-On-Sea of which St Martha’s is part has been supporting the community of Puentecitos in El Salvador through CAFOD’s Connect2:El Salvador for over two years. Julia and Sandra both live in the village and were chosen to represent the people of the village in the visit to the Parish.
Julia, pictured below on the left is very active in the local Catholic community. She coordinates two women´s groups and a children´s group. One of the groups runs a catering business which was supported by CAFOD. Sandra, pictured below on the right, is 19 and is an active member of a women´s group, coordinated by her neighbour, Rosa Idalia. Together the group make soap (a business recently supported by CAFOD) and baskets.
(R to L) Jo, Sandra, Sarah and Julia with John
- After some delicious soup meal Julia and Sandra showed photos and talked about their life and their experiences back in El Salvador. They spoke of the difference support from CAFOD has made and also shared their hopes for the future and showed examples of their handiwork – soap and a basket. Sandra even won a prize on the raffle and was tempted by a very warm and cosy blanket but in the end opted for a commemorative tea towel of the wedding of Prince William and Princess Catherine.
- Margaret von Speyr, local CWL organiser, was delighted by the event. ‘Everyone enjoyed themselves and it was so interesting to hear about the lives of the people of El Salvador.’
We were also joined by Parishioners from Our Lady Immaculate & St Philip Neri Parish in Uckfield. They have also been supporting Connect2:El Salvador for over a year and half. They made the special trip down to meet our visitors and presented them each with a recipes book compiled by the people of the Parish. This reciped book is being sold to help fund the projects. (Contact us if you would like to buy one – they’re really good).
We’d like to say a great big thank you to Margaret, the local branch of the CWL, Denis and Christina our tireless volunteers (and Spanish speakers), to Pat and the group for Uckfield and to all those who shared in the event which made Julia and Sandra welcome.