After a lot of planning and preparation, I was able to introduce my youth club, St Mary’s the Mount, to CAFOD’s climate change campaign. They absolutely enjoyed themselves whilst fulfilling the outcome of going home understanding how CAFOD works by contributing into group conversations and activities.
To help with my youth day, I worked with Lizzie, who as part of her Gap Year with CAFOD visited Zimbabwe and was able to talk to the children about her own personal experiences, and Matthew, who works for CAFOD in the Walsall office.
It was well presented and took place on Friday 5th June 2015. After a premeeting with Lizzie and Matthew, we were able to go away and pull together the different equipment for the day. We emailed Paula, the leader of the youth club, and she was most happy for us to use this Friday for our Climate Change Youth Day.
Over the two hours the children were able to cover a range of different activities. We started the evening by introducing what CAFOD is, asking children for their ideas. It was admirable to see how much the children wanted to get involved. They gave some unique and phenomenal answers and said they wanted to get more involved but they just didn’t know how so this was a great opportunity for them.
One of our activities was a Water Circuit Course game. This was the most fun and physical game. All the children took the time to work in groups and enjoy the game. The game was to demonstrate teamwork. In the poorest and hottest places of the world there are droughts, lack of water, so the women and children have to walk for miles to get their water whilst the men go out to work on the crops. Most of this water would be dirty and polluted but they have no choice but to drink it and wash themselves with it. The children demonstrated this idea through carrying a cup of water though an assault course, trying not to drop it, then pouring it into a bucket. The team with the most water at the end won.
Our climate change presentation taught the children more about what CAFOD does to introduce the world to climate change: fundraising, campaigning, getting in touch with local MPs and politically questioning MPs at elections and, lastly, educating supporters on what’s actually going on around the world. The children listened to real life stories and the different ways climate change can affect people, like a place where there was a drought and not enough water and, on the other hand, where there are floods and too much water.
Lastly the children discussed lifestyle changes they could make to prevent climate change. For example, a child suggested turning off water taps when they’re not using them. They also wrote down something they love and would like to protect against climate change, like the nice hot weather in summer. They wrote this on a piece of paper and we stuck it to a big heart. We took a photo which will go on the CAFOD Facebook page to encourage other Youth Groups and children to get involved.
Overall the night was a success and the children agreed they would like to become more eco-friendly. They acknowledged the efforts of me, Lizzie and Matthew to make it an enjoyable event. Ultimately the children enjoyed the night and said they wanted to get more involved.
By Hannah Callan