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Thursday, March 23, 2017
CAFOD supporters buy 8,000 goats for Christmas
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¬†Poor families throughout the world really will know it's Christmas this year as the Catholic community have already bought gifts worth over half a million pounds. Following the launch of CAFOD's World Gifts catalogue just five weeks ago, parishes, schools and individuals have been inspired by the idea of buying someone a goat or even a latrine for Christmas instead of the usual bubble bath or pair of socks. The goat goes to a family in East Africa while the buyer receives a special certificate and information on where and how their Christmas present will help. The catalogue also offers the opportunity to purchase practical, life-changing gifts for poor people living in Asia and Latin America. CAFOD director Chris Bain said: "We're delighted that people have been so taken with the idea of World Gifts. It's been amazing to hear of school pupils working together to raise money to purchase gifts and parishes organising schemes to buy the poor a Christmas present. "The gift of clean water, warm clothes and food can be life saving. What better present to give than to change a poor family's life overnight. In our consumer driven society, it's a festive way of helping the less fortunate. World Gifts has and will continue to provide a real opportunity to make sure people in the developing world know it's Christmas and make a difference to their lives, as well as your family and friends." The most popular gift purchased was the goat for £25. Families in Eritrea, Kenya and Sudan will soon be receiving over 8,000 goats. For many people throughout East Africa living standards are among the lowest in the world. Mothers struggle to provide for their children and give them a healthy diet. The gift of a goat can change the family's life overnight. A goat means there will be milk to drink and manure to spread on the fields so that the family's crops will grow better. Recipients of the goats will also benefit from training in animal husbandry. When the goat has kids they can be sold at the market giving the family an extra income to spend on other essentials such as clothes and school fees. In addition, nearly 7,000 families in Bangladesh will receive seeds and saplings, 463 children in Chechnya will be able to go to school, 143 families in Nicaragua will have a roof over their head, 2,550 families in Guatemala will be provided with fresh, clean water, 2,416 latrines for communities in Ethiopia, the salaries of 188 health workers in Nigeria will be paid and over 1,500 emergency kits for use in disasters and emergencies have also been purchased. The parish of St Mary's Lowehouse in St Helens encouraged its parishioners to donate the money they usually spend on Christmas cards and instead bought the world's poor a present. Pupils from years 7-11 from All Saints Catholic School and Technology College in Dagenham alone raised a massive £5,000 by holding a sponsored silence. All Saints teacher John Adams, who set the ball rolling by buying his wife a goat for Christmas, said: "The school always raises money for CAFOD throughout the year but being able to buy a goat as a present really caught the kids' imagination and they all wanted to get involved. Staying silent on a Friday afternoon was blissful for us teachers but a big challenge for them. They all did great and we've all had fun and enjoyed our Christmas shopping this year. For further information visit:
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