14 year old Shea’s concert for CAFOD

A local Ruabon teenager has taken on the mammoth task of arranging and performing at a concert for his local community, raising over £800 for the overseas development charity CAFOD and its East Africa Appeal.

Fourteen year old Shea was supported by individuals and groups from the local community, including Llangollen Operatic Society and Stage 2 Stage choir, for the concert.  

The evening, held at All Saints Church in Pen Y Lan, Ruabon, featured a number of songs from musicals with performances from Shea, his family and friends.

Shea, who studies drama and music at his school, said: “I chose to do the concert for CAFOD and the East Africa Appeal because in school we were told about it and asked to raise as much money as we could for the cause. We learnt that £25 can save a life and so I thought about how I could help and save many lives.

“Every day I think about people who don’t have the things that I take for granted, the people who have to walk for hours and hours just to get water that is dirty, the people who don’t get to reach adulthood! This really made me feel upset and made me want to do something about it, so that’s where the idea of the concert came from.

Shea performing at the concert

“I would like to thank everyone in the community who helped one way or another to make the concert what it was… I really appreciate it.”

Shea’s mum, Sharon, said: “We are really proud of him!  He came home one day and said he was going to arrange a concert for the East Africa Appeal and it all took off from there. He had lots of support from everyone involved, including the parish and the Diocese of St Asaph.  We’re delighted with the amount of money he raised.”

Colette Byrne, a local CAFOD representative in North Wales, added: “Organising such a successful event is such a brilliant achievement from Shea.  We are so grateful that he and the choirs chose to raise money for CAFOD and the East Africa Appeal.

“What a great example he is to teenagers across North Wales!”

Find out more about the East Africa Appeal

Typhoon Haiyan

Typhoon Haiyan – known locally as Yolanda – swept across the Philippines on Friday with winds of up to 235 kph, leaving a trail of massive destruction in its wake.

With power still down in many areas, the full extent of the damage is not yet known, but officials in the Philippines have estimated that 10,000 people were killed in one province alone.

The typhoon was one of the strongest ever to make landfall, flattening thousands of houses, and destroying schools and an airport in the eastern city of Tacloban.

Matthew Carter, Head of CAFOD’s Humanitarian Department, said: “Power lines, phone lines and mobile towers have all been damaged, making communication very difficult – but it’s clear that the typhoon has had a catastrophic impact.

Our local partners are on the ground in the worst hit areas, responding to the most immediate needs.

Katja Jewell, manager for CAFOD in North Wales said:

What we know from our experience of dealing with these sudden disasters in Haiti, Pakistan and Mozambique in recent years is that the best way people can help is supporting the local agencies who are there in place on the ground ready to get relief to those in need.

Our local partners are already operating in the worst hit areas, responding to the most immediate needs, as well as continuing to provide food and shelter to people who lost their homes in the earthquake on the island of Bohol last month. The typhoon has added to the destruction, and made it more difficult to deliver aid – but we’re doing everything we can to reach people in isolated areas.”

Our partners across the region are ensuring that emergency supplies are in place. We have pledged an initial £50,000 to respond.

CAFOD has worked in the Philippines since 1969. We have recently responded to several emergencies in the country, including Tropical Storm Washi in 2011, Typhoon Bopha in 2012 and the earthquake that hit Bohol island last month.

Please donate to our Typhoon Haiyan appeal>>

Please pray for all those affected>>

Syria appeal breaks £1 million

Syria Appeal

Catholics in North Wales have contributed to more than £1 million raised by Catholic aid agency, CAFOD, for Syria.

Parish groups, schools and individuals around England and Wales have responded with huge generosity and compassion to raise more than £1,000,000 in response to CAFOD’s Syria Crisis appeal, the vast majority of it in just four weeks.

Katja Jewell, CAFOD’s manager for the North Wales said: “It’s a brilliant effort. Thank you to everyone for their continued generosity.”

More than 5.5 million people are in urgent need of humanitarian aid in Syria, while at least 1.2 million people have fled into neighbouring countries. In Lebanon, a team from Caritas Lebanon, CAFOD’s local partner, visits newly arrived refugees and makes sure they have somewhere to stay. They also provide food, like rice, pasta, cheese, beans and sugar, as well as hygiene kits with soap, toothpaste and toothbrushes, and towels and nappies for babies.

CAFOD is also one of only a handful of UK aid agencies that is able to work in Syria itself. For more than a year, CAFOD has helped Church partners inside the country to provide food, shelter and medical supplies. The generosity of donations to the Syria Crisis appeal means that CAFOD can rapidly scale up this work.

Mike Noyes, CAFOD’s Head of Humanitarian Programmes, said:

I’ve just returned from Lebanon, where I met people who’d lost their homes, their possessions and their loved ones because of the war in Syria. Many of them arrived in Lebanon with nothing more than the clothes on their back.

“It’s thanks to the immense generosity and solidarity of our Catholic community that we can fund this crucial work in Lebanon and in Syria itself, as well as supporting programmes helping refugees in Jordan and Turkey with food, relief supplies, cold weather clothing and shelter materials.

To donate to CAFOD’s Syria crisis Appeal or for more information, please visit; www.cafod.org.uk/Give/Donate-to-Emergencies/Syria-Crisis-appeal