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THIRD WEEK OF LENT ENCOUNTER: Burkina Faso

Where in the World is Burkina Faso?

Burkina Faso is due south of Mali, due north of Ghana, southwest of Niger and northeast of Côte d’Ivoireô on the African continent:


Encounter Safiata

The dry and dusty climate of Burkina Faso means farming can be difficult. It means water can be hard to come by. And it means Safiata and her family often face hunger. Even though she had two plots of land to farm, the many months each year without rain made feeding her 9 children and 16 grandchildren a real challenge.

That’s why Catholic Relief Services is providing farmers like Safiata with more land to grow crops—like onions—that thrive in dry climates. And thanks to a CRS-sponsored irrigation system, she knows she’ll have access to water year-round. That means her crops will grow, and she’ll be able to sell some at the market. “I pay school fees thanks to selling the vegetables. The vegetables help solve the problems my family faces,” Safiata says.

Moreover, she can prepare for the future. Together with others, Safiata is putting a little of the income she earns from selling her crops at the market into a community savings pool. “If you face difficulties, the community will help you,” she says. Those who contribute can borrow money from the fund for emergencies, school fees for their children, or to build businesses.

How Can Your Change in the CRS Rice Bowl Help?

In Burkina Faso, Safiata, a mother, grandmother and farmer relies on the money she makes from her crops to put her children through school. How can our purchases this Lent support farmers and artisans? How can you support those, worldwide, who are forced to flee their homes to find safety or better opportunities? Visit crsricebowl.org for more information.

CRS Encounter: Iraq – Life and Dignity of the Human Person

Catholic social teaching inspires and guides how we are to live and work in the world. In this principle, Life and Dignity of the Human Person, Jesus reminds us that we are all made in God’s image and likeness. That means that every human being has a special value and a purpose. We need to care for each other so we can be the people God calls us to be.

Encounter Majd

 

Eight-year-old Majd thought his family was going on a picnic. His mother, Lamya, said they would be back home in a week. But when ISIS attacked their home in northern Iraq, the family fled for good.

“What worried me the most were the kids,” Lamya says. “Our life was stable and we were doing well; we had a very big house. Our children had everything they needed. But when we fled, I was not able to bring anything for them—not even food.”

Fortunately, the family found an apartment to rent with other displaced families. It is much smaller than the home they had, but it’s safer. The children enrolled in a CRS-sponsored school, where the routine provides hope, stability and a sense of belonging. “Education is very important,” says Lamya, especially in Iraqi culture.

Lamya received training from CRS and became a teacher at the school. Now she has hope for the future. “I really love children, so when I go to class I feel like I am with my family,” she says.

Her son, Majd, also loves going to school. “Majd is so motivated to go to school. He just wants it to be morning so he can go,” Lamya says. “He is relaxed, having fun and more confident.” For Majd, school means a normal life—now and in the future.

 

Photo by Oscar Leiva/Silverlight for Catholic Relief Services

Lent and Catholic Relief Service’s Rice Bowl

The Feature Image:  Teacher Joseph Andrise, 29, from Notre Dame de Lamerci de Robillard school, in Nord Department, Haiti, and her students of first grade eat cassava bread with peanut butter that is given as a morning snack. Many children come to school without eating. This gives them energy to stay awake and learn. Donations to the CRS Rice Bowl helps to make a difference.

Catholic Relief Services in partnership with the diocesan office of the Catholic Education Commission, are implementing the program Haiti Reads. Every student receives a new workbook to practice reading and writing. This is a big change from before, when students had to copy notes from the board.

Photo by Oscar Leiva/Silverlight for Catholic Relief Services

Read a letter from Bishop Walkowiak here.

 

Your Lenten Gifts Change Lives

Did you know that by sacrificing $1 a day for 40 days of Lent, you help provide:

1 MONTH OF FOOD for a family

2 YEARS OF SEED for a farmer

1 EMERGENCY KIT for refugees

75% of your CRS Rice Bowl donation supports Catholic Relieve Services programs around the world.

25% helps alleviate hunger and poverty in our local Diocese of Grand Rapids!

  • Catholics in the U.S. touch more than 120 million lives through CRS programs.
  • Motivated by the example of Jesus Christ, CRS reaches communities in 112 countries.
  • CRS Rice Bowl helps families reflect on and respond to global issues like hunger, migration and poverty.

Companions on the Journey

PRAY to encounter Christ in your life and in every member of our human family.

FAST to encounter the obstacles that keep you from serving God and your neighbor.

GIVE to encounter God’s love, and share it with our brothers and sisters in need.

Rice Bowls Available in the Church Narthex

Please stop by the table in the Church Narthex to pick up your family’s Rice Bowl beginning after all Masses the weekend of February 10th and 11th. They will remain there until they’re all gone!

Help Your Children Understand What the Rice Bowl is!

Please share this video with your children!

More info to come throughout all of Lent! Stay tuned…