Friday 5th October was a day of preparing for action at St. Thomas More youth group in Sheldon, Birmingham.
Keen to find out how they can make a difference, the group, which launched in September, invited representatives from a range of charities including CAFOD to visit with information about the work they do, and how the group can help.
The evening began with some icebreakers led by the group’s amazing young leaders, followed by a moving presentation from the Teenage Cancer Trust, who provide specialist services for young people with cancer. After a short break, Amy Fox, our CAFOD Diocesan Officer (Youth), introduced CAFOD’s work with an unfair quiz, in which the rules and questions were heavily weighted against one of the teams who, to make matters worse, also had to use broken buzzers. Once the shouts of protest and ‘That’s not fair!’ had died down, we discussed how the quiz reflected the situation in the world today, where millions of people do not have a fair chance in life, however skilled or hard-working they might be.
This was followed by the World Statistics Icebreaker, in which the young people were challenged to match facts about the world with statistics. They were particularly shocked to discover that 2.5 billion people worldwide (more than one in three) live on less than a £1 a day and 9 million children will die this year before their fifth birthday.
The group then looked at some of the ways, through CAFOD, young people like themselves are making a difference. They heard about Rosena and Angel in Zambia who use to have to walk miles to collect water before CAFOD installed a borehole in their village. They also heard about Gift, who was living on pumpkin leaves until CAFOD helped his family start a vegetable garden, and who says: ‘Mum used to be thin and weak and I worried about her. I like the vegetable garden, because when I see the tomatoes grow, I know my mum will be happy.’
We discussed CAFOD’s new campaign, Hungry for Change, which aims to tackle injustices in the way food is grown, sold and shared out, to ensure everyone has enough to eat. The young people thought about ways they can help by campaigning, fundraising and raising awareness of the unfairness in the world.
By the end of the evening the young people were raring to go to help bring about a fairer world.
Watch this space…!
A massive thank you to youth leader Sue and the group for inviting us to be part of the evening and best of luck to the young people in their work to help change the world!
Would you like to inspire your youth group to change the world for the better? Get in touch with Amy on 01922 722 944 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for advice, support, resources or a visit from CAFOD.