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CAFOD partners around the world do incredible work. Our Advent calendar will introduce you to organisations in countries like Niger, which ensure that children have enough nutritious food to eat. May their stories inspire us to take steps to change our


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Title: CAFOD partners around the world do incredible work. Our Advent calendar will introduce you to organisations in countries like Niger, which ensure that children have enough nutritious food to eat. May their stories inspire us to take steps to change our

Advent calendar 2012
  • CAFOD partners around the world do incredible
    work. Our Advent calendar will introduce you to
    organisations in countries like Niger, which
    ensure that children have enough nutritious food
    to eat. May their stories inspire us to take
    steps to change our lifestyles and our world.

On 2 December, click the 2 symbol on the
calendar, to begin reflecting with us this
Advent. You can also print and cut out the
symbol each day and add it to your own Jesse Tree.
(No Transcript)
God saw all he had made, and indeed it was very
good. Genesis 131
God created a beautiful world for everyone to
share. Yet, in Niger, drought has turned lush
grassland into dusty desert, affecting a third of
the population. Every week, Domo Hamani (left)
and her one year old granddaughter, Hajara Hama,
make a day-long return journey from their village
to a feeding centre run by CAFODs partner,
Caritas Niger.
Reflect The Jesse tree is a traditional way of
remembering how God prepared us for the birth of
Jesus. Our first Jesse tree symbol reminds us of
the opening verses of the Bible and Gods gift of
creation. How do I care for Gods world? What
do I do for those most affected by climate
change? Pray Creator God, while I consume to
meet my needs help me also to care for the
amazing world that you have created.
Amen. Act Check your commitment to caring for
creation with Planet Pulse.
The waters rose... and the ark drifted away over
the waters. Genesis 718
Drought is affecting many countries just south of
the Sahara, including Niger - one of the worlds
poorest countries. Emergency food supplements
from our partner, St Augustines Health Centre,
are vital for children like Hassana, daughter of
Haoua Balma My child is not suffering any more.
She used to have stomach cramps and headaches but
now they have stopped. For me, the most important
thing is the health of my children and getting
enough food for them.
Reflect As the waters rose, the ark gave safety
to Noahs family and a way to move forward to a
new life. CAFOD partners around the world provide
arks for people threatened by poverty, helping
them to deal with rising food prices, climate
change, war, oppression, injustice and natural
disasters. How can I help my sisters and
brothers? Pray Protector God, we pray that the
world will reach out to people affected by
hunger, especially in Niger. Amen. Act Decide as
a group not to swap Christmas cards but buy a
World Gift instead. This poster will help!
Look up at the sky and count the stars if you
can... Genesis 155
CAFOD partner, Caritas Niger supports a seed fair
in the village of Koira Bano, near the border
with Mali. This is one of the places most
affected by the current food crisis. Local
merchants provide drought-resistant seeds so that
the farmers from neighbouring villages can select
those they want to buy with the vouchers donated
by Caritas.
Reflect God promised Abraham that his descendants
would be as many as the stars. For farmers in
Niger, seeds hold promise for the future. With
drought-resistant crops, they have an opportunity
to lift their families out of the hunger cycle.
What has God promised me? Do I believe
it? Pray Faithful God, teach me to believe your
promises, as Abraham did. Amen. Act Plant a seed
to symbolise your hope that Gods promises to you
will be fulfilled. (Dont forget to water it!)
I am your brother Joseph whom you sold into
Egypt. Genesis 454
This little Sri Lankan boy, Chamal, is eating his
lunch out of a lotus leaf. His mother Lasanthi
has been working with Savisthri, a CAFOD partner,
to improve her familys nutrition, and help many
other families improve theirs. Savisthri helps
women group together to buy food in bulk at lower
prices and helps them to grow and sell their own
produce. It also helps them to preserve and pass
on traditional recipes for nutritious food.
Reflect The story of Joseph and his multicoloured
coat was passed from person to person by word of
mouth before it was written down. Storytelling is
an important way of passing on traditions and
histories. One message of Josephs story is that
God protects us. Which Bible story means the
most to me, and why? Pray Living Word, speak to
me so that I can learn and share the story of
your love. Amen Act Read your favourite Bible
story today.
The Egyptians gave them no mercy in the demands
they made. Exodus 113
Elizabeth was able to improve her nutrition while
she was pregnant through information learnt at
nutrition workshops run by Warmi Huasi, a CAFOD
partner in Lima, Peru. Elisabeths new baby,
Abigail, is a lot bigger than her older children,
Carlos and Araceli, were as babies and she
believes that this is because of her improved
diet when pregnant and breastfeeding.
Reflect Advent is a time to repent for the ways
Ive hurt people. But who repents for the hurts
experienced by those living in extreme poverty?
I may not be conscious of it, but I am part of
a world system that ensures the worlds resources
are not fairly shared. I may not feel rich, but
Im part of the richest 25 per cent of the
world. Pray Lord, Im sorry for not recognising
that the luxuries I enjoy may be at the cost of
people living in poverty. Im sorry for not
putting in more effort to win justice for those
who dont have even the basic things they need.
Give me a heart that strives for justice.
Amen. Act Find out the date of your school or
parish Advent service and plan to go.
... the place where you are standing is holy
ground. Exodus 35
Nitu, aged ten, eats her lunch in South
Bangladesh, where girls sometimes receive less
food than boys. Nitu uses crutches to help her
to walk and her mother has been trained in the
rights of girls and disabled children by CAFOD
partner, Action for Disability and Development.
Nitus mother makes sure that Nitu eats well.
Reflect Moses removed his shoes to approach the
holy ground around the Burning Bush. Do I
respect the dignity of people who are vulnerable
or different from me? God is present in all
people. Pray Loving God, help us to recognise
the dignity of each and every person, and to
respect their rights. Amen. Act To show you care
about your global family, like CAFOD on
Moses and the Israelites sang this song in the
Lords honour. Exodus 151
Teresa Camargo da Silva, known as Teresinha,
enjoys making loaves of bread to share at Sunday
Mass in São Paulo, Brazil. Teresinha runs a
healthy eating project, called Bread and Art, as
part of the work of MDF, a CAFOD partner that
helps families on low incomes to make the most of
their food.
Reflect The Israelites sang a song of joy to
thank God for parting the waters and rescuing
them from the Egyptians. Centuries later, Mary
sang a song of joy, now known as The
Magnificat, to thank God for blessing his people
by sending Jesus. What am I thankful
for? Pray Thank you, God, for all your
blessings. Help me to share your blessings with
others as Teresinha does. Amen Act Send a World
Gift to bless a loved one as well as someone
youve never met.
"thin flakes like frost on the ground appeared
on the desert floor. Exodus 1614
Sudans conflict has affected millions of people,
driving many from their homes. Life for the Al
Mansora nomads has changed completely. They used
to travel freely throughout the region, but now
find it difficult to travel, trade and plant,
affecting their childrens health. Here, a
member of the nutrition team run by CAFODs
partner makes a home visit to support mothers and
Reflect Todays Jesse Tree symbol reminds us of
the Israelites wandering in the desert and fed by
God with manna, a white bread-like food. God
still nourishes us, both in the Eucharist and in
the food we are given daily. We are called to
share our spiritual blessings and our food with
others. Do I remember that everything I have is
a gift entrusted to me for a short
time? Pray Give us, Lord, our daily bread and
teach us to share. Amen. Act Write a special
grace to pray before Christmas lunch.
Then God spoke all these words... Exodus 201
In parts of Bangladesh, girls and disabled
children often miss out on an education. Nitu can
go to school because her mother, Alam, has been
trained in girls and disabled childrens rights
by CAFODs partner, Action for Disability and
Development. The training also helps Alam to
ensure that Nitu receives nutritious food so that
she is healthy and able to go to school regularly.
Reflect The Ten Commandments were treasured by
the Israelites, who said Your words are spirit,
Lord, and they are life. Jesus would have been
educated in the synagogue, learning and pondering
the words of scripture so as to learn to live by
them. How do I regard my education? Am I
learning how to live? Pray Generous God, thank
you for my education. Help me to learn the deep
lessons that you are teaching me. Amen. Act Read
more about Nitu and be kind to anyone who teaches
you today!
Samuel answered, 'Speak, Lord, your servant is
listening. 1 Samuel 310
As violence in Syria increased during this year,
tens of thousands of refugees, many of them
children, streamed into Jordan and Lebanon.
CAFODs partner, Caritas Lebanon is providing
them with food parcels as well as blankets,
clothes and medical aid. Najla Chahda of the
Caritas Lebanon Migrant Centre says Hope is
keeping them alive.
Reflect An oil lamp burned in the temple where
Samuel slept. Samuel answered Gods call and
became a light for his people. Jesus says to us
too Be dressed ready for service and keep your
lamps burning (Luke 1235). Where am I being
asked to shine Gods light of love and
justice? Pray Speak, Lord, your servant is
listening, your message brings me life.
Amen. Act Join us on Twitter to pray for peace
and justice daily _at_cafodprayer.
I am your servant. 1 Kings 1836
Pope Benedict XVI says What is missing... is a
network of economic institutions capable of
guaranteeing regular access to sufficient food."
(Caritas in Veritate, 27) In other words,
governments and international companies and
organisations need to work together if the
worlds food is to be fairly shared.
Reflect I Kings 18 tells how Elijah witnessed for
God at an altar. The altar symbol reminds us of
the Eucharist and of the call to nourish those
around us through our prayer and day-to-day
actions. We can also buy Fairtrade products and
campaign for justice in global food systems, in
solidarity with those who do not have a fair
share of the worlds food. How will I help to
make my friends stronger today? Pray Bread of
life, nourish me so that I can feed others.
Amen. Act Call now for a fairer food system
Jesse replied, There is still one left, the
youngest he is looking after the sheep. 1
Samuel 1611
Football-mad Makuu from Eastern Kenya can name
all the members of the Real Madrid squad and
their positions, and loves to kick about a ball
made of bags and string with his mate, Murambo.
But during last years drought he had little
energy for football Missing lunch made me feel
sick and tired. Now Makuu helps to run a
school vegetable garden, supported by a CAFOD
partner, and his new skills will help his family
prepare for future droughts.
Reflect The sprouting tree stump reminds us that
David, the youngest of Jesses sons and perhaps
the least likely leader, began a new chapter in
the history of Gods people. Even when it seems
there is no hope, God can bring about new life.
Do I trust God with my hopes and
fears? Pray God of new beginnings, I entrust my
hopes and fears to you. Amen Act Look out for
Makuus video on our website during Lent 2013.
David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling
and a stone. 1 Samuel 1750
Bekele Chude from Tisho village, Ethiopia, has
eight children. With training from CAFOD partner,
Agri Service Ethiopia, he has tripled his harvest
of teff a nutritious cereal grain. I learnt
so much about the use of improved seeds. I plan
to expand my production and will be using only
improved seed. Now Bekele can reserve some
seed and crops to safeguard his family against
Reflect Goliath did not believe that David could
defeat him, armed with only a slingshot. Yet
David had confidence even in the face of such
enormous odds. He went on to transform his nation
as King of Israel. Being shown how to use
improved seeds may not sound like much either,
but it has transformed life for Bekele and his
children. What little thing can I do today to
make a difference? Pray God of encouragement,
help me to encourage someone today.
Amen Act Sign up for Great Generation e-news.
Give your servant a heart to understand how to
govern your people. 1 Kings 39
Carla attended nutrition workshops with CAFOD
partner Warmi Huasi in Lima, Peru. She says her
four-year-old son, Piero is now gaining weight
and his concentration has improved at school
I learned how to balance meals. I made sure
one week we ate tuna, one we ate meat... Piero
didnt like broccoli. Before, he wouldnt eat it.
Now he says Give me my tree!
Reflect The temple symbol reminds us of Solomon,
temple-builder and wisest of kings. In their own
globally-significant decisions, world leaders
need to consider those living in poverty and make
wise decisions about how to ensure everyone has
justice. Are they, and we, keeping our promises
to the worlds poorest people? Pray Lord God,
give Solomons wisdom to all who govern our
world. Amen. Act There are just over two years
until 2015 - find out how the world is doing in
its progress towards the Millennium Development
...but Jonah ran away from the Lord. Jonah 13
Our partner ACLO Chuquisaca works with each
district of the city of Sucre, Bolivia, to help
to improve the quality of life for all residents.
Epifania represents the poorest district in the
city. She says, We have asked the government to
provide greenhouses for 80 families and they have
agreed in principle. Nearly everyone here has
migrated from the country and they find it hard
to produce food. This will help us to grow
vegetables and have better food.
Reflect Am I like Jonah, initially running away
from what God wants me to do? Or, like
Epifania, will I step up to the mark and answer
Gods call to help build a world where all
children and adults have nutritious food to
eat? Pray Compassionate God, help me to notice
other peoples problems, and be willing to help.
Amen. Act Do something you have been putting
off today.
The Lord will make use of me to rescue Israel.
Judith 833
Mechu Dayo was married at 15. She lives in Tisho
village, in southern Ethiopia. During drought,
Mechu could only feed her 11 children with a thin
porridge, until she received training from CAFOD
partner, Agri Service Ethiopia, on how to grow
vegetables in her garden Feeding my children
and having plenty for market is a big change for
me. I dont think I will face major problems
again. I can still grow vegetables even if there
is no rain. I will be able to bring water on a
donkey from a well.
Reflect The sword and shield symbolise Judith, a
strong woman of the Bible. Mechu and countless
women around the world have to be strong for
their families in the face of disasters worsened
by extreme poverty. What can I do to bring
about a change in the world so that families like
Mechus can go about their lives without
fear? Pray God, I am sorry that I take for
granted the good things I have. I will add my
voice to those seeking change. Amen. Act Be
inspired by the Great Generation blogs.
The young woman is with child and will give
birth to a son whom she will call Immanuel.
Isaiah 714
Momoudou Bountis family left their village in
Tahoua, Niger when a disastrous harvest wiped out
their food supply. Today, they live in a
makeshift camp in Niamey, in a tiny shelter of
cardboard boxes and tarpaulin. Momoudou and his
wife do odd-jobs to feed their family. The
children help too, collecting unwanted vegetables
from gardens alongside the camp People are very
kind around here... People share what they have.
There is a lot of solidarity.
Reflect Centuries before Jesus was born, the
prophet Isaiah said that God would send a child
who would be known as God-with-us, or Immanuel.
God is still with us, and within us. The people
in Niamey are signs of Gods love as they help
each other, even though they have so little.
Where have I recognised Gods presence
today? Pray Holy One, may those who are given
the responsibility of protecting others be
strong, honest and upright in all they do.
Amen. Act If you know that someone at school is
being bullied, stand up for them and stand
alongside them. Tell a teacher.
Rejoice, you who enjoy Gods favour! The Lord is
with you. Luke 128
Aminata Mohamed fled her village of Ménaka in
Mali with her twin daughters Rebels robbed
our villages, threatening the inhabitants and
spreading terror among women. According to the
authorities in Niger, more than 50,000 Malians
from the area have found refuge in Niger this
year, fleeing the fighting between government
forces and armed groups. Caritas Niger provides
food and other aid to more than 3,000 refugees.
Reflect When Gabriel told Mary that she was to
be a mother, Mary was confused and afraid, but
she said Yes. Could she have known the
heartache that she would face as a mother? Or the
hopes and joys? Aminata and many mothers like her
endure great hardship to care for their children.
Today I will remember them. Pray Mary our
mother, pray with us for all mothers today, that
their hopes and dreams for their children will be
fulfilled. Amen. Act Find out more about
Millennium Development Goals four and five.
His power of speech returned and he spoke and
praised God. Luke 164
At nine-year-old Bismarks primary school in
Taraco, Bolivia, children have been taught the
importance of a balanced diet, thanks to a
nutritionist from CIPCA, a CAFOD partner.
Lessons learned at school soon spread into the
community. Bismark says I have a younger
brother. Ive taught him what Ive learned and
now were both eating well! CIPCA is also
helping the school to build its own greenhouse.
Reflect Zachariah did not believe God at first
when he heard that his wife would have a baby
and he lost his voice. When his son, John, was
born, Zachariahs voice returned. At once, he
told everyone the good news that John would
prepare people for the coming of Jesus. What
good news do I want to share? Pray Lord Jesus,
may my words bring joy to others. Amen. Act Tell
somebody one new thing you have learned about
CAFOD this Advent.
The people walking in darkness have seen a great
light. Isaiah 91
This is not a bag of sweets, but a life-saving
food supplement given to children who are
malnourished. Thanks to CAFOD supporters, Haoua
Balma from Niamey, Niger receives twenty sachets
of plumpynut every week from St Augustines
Health Centre My child is supposed to have them
three times per day. I know it's good because
once I started giving it to the baby, she started
to get better.
Reflect Through our partners hard work and your
generosity, light is shining even in some of the
darkest situations faced by people living with
poverty and injustice. Do I bring hope, light and
joy to those I meet? What do I need to
change? Pray Light of the World, help me to
bring light, hope and joy to those walking in
darkness. Amen. Act Light a candle and pray for
Niger next time you are in church.
This is the carpenter, surely...? Mark 63
Madame Souleymane Hadjara Marc is head nurse at
St Augustines Health Centre, which is supported
by our partner, Caritas Niger For severe
malnutrition, we have 125 children per month we
also go out and treat people in the community.
With the right treatment, children with severe
malnutrition usually recover within three weeks
When you see a child whos been cured, you feel
very happy!
Reflect The carpenters tools remind us that
Jesus was brought up by Joseph and worked as a
carpenter. Perhaps, like Souleymane, Jesus too
found great satisfaction in helping others
through his work. What is God asking me to do?
Am I making the right choices for my future
working life? Pray Jesus of Nazareth, teach me
to work for the good of all. Amen Act Do some
work today and donate some of your earnings so
CAFOD can help people around the world.
We saw his star as it rose and have come to do
him homage. Matthew 22
Pedro Luis Lluscos family, and other families in
his area of Bolivia, have received materials for
a greenhouse. CAFOD partner, CIPCA, have also
trained him in farming techniques, livestock and
nutrition We are eating more healthily and I am
also able to sell some products. From a simple
diet of potatoes and the occasional chicken,
these families now enjoy salads, vegetables and
Reflect The wise men followed a star to find the
infant king. What stars do I follow? Are they
from The X Factor or the Premier League? Do I
have the wisdom to tell which stars will lead
me to true life? Pray Light of the world, guide
me today. Amen. Act How many stars can you spot
supporting CAFOD in this clip?
Joseph went up from the town of Nazareth in
Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem Luke 24
Shaziya and her mum, Aasia, received two goats
from CAFODs partner, Association of Womens
Awareness and Rural Development, after floods in
Pakistan in 2010. Aasia plans to sell the
goats kids to pay for healthcare, food and
education. For now she is happy to have extra
milk to make her children stronger and healthier.
Names have been changed
Reflect After the trauma of the floods, 200
families like Aasias have begun to rebuild their
village and make it a place of safety where their
children can flourish. In Bethlehem, an
inn-keeper provided a safe place for Jesus to be
born. Everyone needs a place of safety. Where do
I feel safest? Who provides my safe
places? Pray God our refuge, help me to know I
am always safe in You. Amen. Act As the New Year
approaches, make a resolution to act for justice
in 2013.
She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid
him in a manger" Luke 27
A mother hugs her baby at Caritas Nigers feeding
centre in Niamey. Children with malnutrition
receive food supplements here. Thanks to your
generosity, CAFOD has already contributed
294,000 to support families through this years
food crisis.
Reflect Today we remember Mary embracing her
newborn son in a borrowed stable and reflect that
God chose to enter into the worlds poverty in
order to live among us. As we share a special
meal with loved ones in celebration, let us pray
that all our sisters and brothers will soon have
a just share of the worlds food. Pray Thank
you, God, that in the birth of Jesus you chose to
walk alongside us! Amen. Act Sing along with a
CAFOD Christmas carol to rejoice this Christmas!
Advent Calendar 2012
  • Photos Ryan Worms, Nick Harrop, Olwen Maynard,
    Susan Kambalu, Simon Rawles, Sarah Smith-Pearse,
    Mohammed Noureldin, SCYS, Annie Bungeroth,
    Kibnesh Chala, Maria Marshall, Monika Vrsanska,
    Caritas Internationalis, CAFOD.