Shared hope and purple flowers in Afghanistan and the Worth Interfaith Forum

We Work With All Peoples – Afghanistan

On Tuesday the 21st of May the Worth Interfaith Group hosted Jennifer McCarthy Ph.D., CAFOD’s Programme Officer for Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Martin from the A&B CAFOD office spoke about CAFOD and how we work in this country and abroad. He explained that we work in around 40 countries in Latin America, Asia and Africa doing a variety of work such as livelihoods (helping people earn enough and providing tools and training for farming etc.), Health (such as work with people living with HIV & AIDS), Advocacy (helping people stand up for their rights) and Peace-Building and Conflict Resolution (bringing communities together). We work through partners who are trusted, local organisations who are ‘on the ground’ in their countries and are best placed to do the work of development there.

Jennifer spoke passionately and knowledgeably of the work we support in Afghanistan, a country with many problems at the moment such as security and gender in-equality and areas which struggle with insufficient drinking water, floods and insufficient food.

Jennifer spoke not only about Afghanistan, but also how we, a Catholic faith based agency, work in the predominantly non-Christian country. ‘Our work must be values based.’ There can be a shared outlook due to our faith, our values and our humanity. ‘What brings them together is the hope for a better future and the desire for the land to be improved and more fertile.’

Land which is mostly either dry or flooded is being transformed, step by step, into land which is more fertile for the people.

A rocky mountainous region of Afghanistan

A rocky mountainous region of Afghanistan

There is also work in which people are being taught how to grow, harvest and process saffron. This is work which brings in much needed money for the families who can then use the money to buy food and other basics.

Crocuses in Afghanistan, the source of saffron

Crocuses in Afghanistan, the source of saffron

More information on the work of our partners can be found on our website http://www.cafod.org.uk/About-Us/Where-we-work/Afghanistan

What became clear during the evening is that there are different ways of working in a places such as this and our partner agencies who are in and of the country are vital to the way we work and they make a huge difference in their countries. We share many of the same values, even when we may not share the same faith. These values ensure that we can work together harmoniously for the good of the poorest people in those countries.

We thank the Worth Interfaith group for arranging this event and for their hospitality. We also thank Jennifer for speaking with us on Tuesday and for the fantastic work she is supporting in Afghanistan. Finally we thank our supporters who give so generously and regularly to support the work of our partners throughout the world.

During the evening we spoke about food and how it is incredibly important. If you would like to see what you can to change the fact that 1 in 8 people every night will go to bed hungry, then please see http://www.cafod.org.uk/Campaign/Take-action-today/Joint-campaign-on-food and also sign up to join us in London on June the 8th by registering here http://www.cafod.org.uk/G8Rally

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