School Volunteers gather for Summer term Refresher

On Monday 8 May, our lovely team of School Volunteers across Birmingham Archdiocese gathered for our Summer Term Refresher.

It was a pleasure to be joined by Gemma Salter, from our Education Team, who helped unpack some of our Summer Term assemblies and workshops for primary and secondary schools.

These included assemblies and workshops on our Power to be campaign. We got hands on and created our own sun of messages calling on the World Bank to support local, renewable energy so that children everywhere have the power to achieve great things and lift themselves out of poverty.

SV Summer Refresher- use

Our Birmingham Archdiocesan team of School Volunteers with their ‘Power to be’ sun

We also heard a moving account of the impact of climate change and CAFOD’s work in Cambodia from our Step into the Gap Volunteer, Charlotte Bray’s, recent visit.

Thank-you very much to all who joined us, for your energy and enthusiasm and for being such a great inspiration to children and young people across our Archdiocese.

Would you like to join our School Volunteer team? http://cafod.org.uk/Volunteer/Volunteer-with-us/Education-volunteer

We’d be delighted to hear from you at birmingham@cafod.org.uk or on 01922 722 944.

Get to know Charlotte – our new CAFOD ‘Step into the Gap’ volunteer

Bray1.jpg

Charlotte, far left, has just joined our “Step into the Gap” programme.

This week we met our new “Gapper” Charlotte Bray.  We wanted to know even more about her and so she told us all about what inspired her to work with CAFOD. 

“Aspire not to have more, but to be more!” – Blessed Oscar Romero.

This quote from Blessed Oscar Romero perfectly sums up why I decided to join Step into the Gap this year. I have just graduated from University, and instead of following the same route as my peers I decided that I wanted to take a gap year with a difference! I wanted to put my faith into action and dedicate a year of my life towards working for global justice.

Find out more about CAFOD’s gap year programme

I am passionate about social justice so would love to be instrumental in helping the Catholic Church to embody Pope Francis’ vision of a poor church in solidarity with the marginalised. But more than that, I would love to help transform the whole world into one where people of all faiths and none are in solidarity with those living in poverty. So this gap year programme with CAFOD is the first step in what will hopefully become a lifelong journey for me. This quote by Oscar Romero perfectly encapsulates what I want to get out of this coming year with CAFOD, to become more, to grow as a person and to learn more about myself, my faith and the world in which we live, and hopefully inspire others in the UK to make a difference.

Read more about our work across the world here

But a little bit more about me….  I’m 21 years old and am originally from Hereford. I have just graduated from Durham University, where I spent the last three years studying for a degree in theology. This year as part of my work for CAFOD I am going to be placed at Newman University in Birmingham, where I will be raising awareness of issues to do with global justice among the staff and students.

Check out our back to school resources for children and young people

I have been involved in fundraising for CAFOD my whole life, both at school and church, so this year I am particularly excited to see first-hand the amazing work which CAFOD and its partners undertake around the world, both in the UK and overseas. I am particularly excited to meet CAFOD’s inspirational partners overseas which, from what previous gappers have told me, will be a challenging, but transformative experience.

Keep in touch with Charlotte and the team of Step into the Gap volunteers – follow their blogs.

Step into the Gap – Alice prepares for Peru

Alice is volunteering with CAFOD in Birmingham during her gap year as part of our Step into the Gap programme. Here she writes about preparing to see our work in Peru:

Alice is preparing to see CAFOD's work in Peru

Alice is preparing to see CAFOD’s work in Peru

So international training weekend is done and it’s really given me time to think about the overseas visit, the partners we will be visiting and the culture we will be surrounded by. Having time to let it sink in the over-riding feeling is excitement! While there are nerves about some things we might face and how hard some of the things we witness might be to see, all in all I can’t wait to get engrossed in the culture, travel and find out more about the partners and how CAFOD and aids locals to help themselves and the community. All ready for sharing the experience on return.

Volunteer with CAFOD during your gap year

First of all we have discovered which country we will be visiting and it turns out I am going to Peru! We have found out that we will be starting off in Lima, the capital, and then travelling to the rural community of Cruz de Mayo. We will be spending time with families and accompanying them in their daily tasks, attending Sunday Mass at a chapel and meeting young people to hear about their work on combatting violence to name just a few of the things we will be doing! Continue reading