On 21 April in Wolverhampton at 7pm, Birmingham gap year volunteer and Chaplaincy worker Alice Bowers is set to give a talk on her experiences in Peru. I got to speak to her before her talks to ask her about her experiences.
Every year, CAFOD runs a gap year programme called ‘Step into the Gap’ in which around 10-15 people take part. They are based in areas all over the UK and help with many projects including youth groups and Chaplaincy work in the year long placement. During the year, they also have the opportunity to travel abroad and visit some of CAFOD’s partners and their projects.
Find out more about the gap year programme.
This year, Alice Bowers has been doing a placement at Newman University Chaplaincy and travelled to Peru to visit some projects including; EDUCA and IES who work on helping young people start businesses and to understand and counteract violence. CAFOD has worked with partners in Peru since 1968, supporting women to make a living, people who are living with HIV and AIDS, and communities campaigning to protect their environment.
Alice now plans to share her experiences in Peru on Thursday 21 April, 7.00-8.30pm, SS Peter & Paul Parish and everyone is welcome to attend. I was lucky enough to catch up with Alice and ask her some questions:
“With CAFOD and the Chaplaincy I have helped with soup kitchens, fair trade stalls and morning mass and prayer. To promote the trip and the people I met there I have done a lecture presentation, a special Peruvian soup kitchen and displays in the reception area of the university. I am currently preparing for a photo exhibition in our Chapel as well.
In my talk “I’m going to try and cram in as many of the stories as possible!! It’s such a shame not too do them all justice. I suppose I will focus on the issues that struck me the most; climate change and the corruption we heard about there.”
“I think my favourite times were spending the day in the life of a family, which we got to do twice. It was a real pleasure to see parts of Peru not many get to see and really felt like we were able to understand the lives of the people we were meeting a bit better.”
“One of the girls we met added me on Facebook and I have liked a few of our partners pages so I can hear their news. I would love to go back one day and see how they are getting on!
“I learnt that we really do have so much to learn from each other. The community spirit and generosity of the people we met was incredible. Also teaching advocacy to young people and children was inspirational.”
Alice will speak on Thursday 21 April, 7.00-8.30pm, SS Peter & Paul Parish, North Street, Wolverhampton, WV1 1RJ and everyone is welcome. For more information please email Julia Hood: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01922 722 944