Young people tell PM: ‘The system needs to change’

Young people in Nuneaton sent a clear message to Prime Minister David Cameron that ‘the failing system needs to change’ when they took action for CAFOD’s Hungry for Change campaign.

Amy Fox, our CAFOD Diocesan Officer (Youth) visited Our Lady of the Angels parish youth group in Nuneaton on Friday 9th November to introduce the new campaign.

Following an energetic game of Jambo, the young people discovered the truth of Martin Luther King’s comment that, ‘Before you’ve finished breakfast this morning, you’ll have relied on half the world’ with the Global Connections icebreaker. We then explored what it feels like to have to go without even the most basic resources with the World Values Auction in which the young people, in groups, took on the personalities of young people in countries where CAFOD works and had to bid for the things they needed. Each group was given a sum of money proportionate to the wealth of their character’s country and Jonathan, from the UK, was able to outbid the others on virtually everything. When asked how they felt being constantly outbid, the young people used words like ‘frustrated’, ‘annoyed’ and ‘unfair’.

After a short break, we discussed some of the ways in which the world today is unfair, and Amy introduced Hungry for Change with a quiz. Inspired to take action, the young people wrote messages on cardboard fish to Prime Minister David Cameron, calling for him to help make the global food system fairer for the world’s poorest people.

Marina wrote:

‘Change is necessary to solve this problem of injustice. Is it fair that people in the UK and around the world are treated differently? The failing system needs to change and you can help for the people that need it.’

Katie wrote:

‘I think it is unfair how people have an unfair advantage to access food. I believe that you and your government should raise awareness of this matter. Many people dismiss world hunger and feel “it’s not their problem”. If you were to raise awareness of this horrific problem, we as a concerned nation will finally see a change in this matter.’

Ellie wrote:

‘Please can you help make everyone in the world have some food for tonight so the mums and dads don’t watch them die. Please help us.’

At the end of the evening, the young people thought about the changes they can make in their own lives to help make the world fairer and they wrote their ideas on paper hearts, which they stuck to a giant inflatable globe.

Excitingly, the group are also planning to help others within their parish make changes by helping to launch a new Fairtrade stall at the Chrishmas Fair.

You can join the young people in taking action for a fairer food system by visiting www.cafod.org.uk/hungry.

If your youth group would like a visit from CAFOD, please contact Amy on 01922 722 944 or e-mail afox@cafod.org.uk.

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