Harriet Gaima, from our Sierra Leone office, was visiting the UK during Pope Benedict XVI’s visit. Here she shares her exeriences.
“The Papal visits for me served dual fulfilment, first being personally in a position to stand on the same grounds with the Pope and hear from him first hand, and secondly, the opportunity which his visit created for all present to add their voices to issues of global concern. Issues such as meeting and achieving the MDGs, which for my part of the globe (Africa, and Sierra Leone in particular) would seem like a utopian dream.
I was inspired and spiritually challenged to strengthen my Catholic faith, having been brought into Catholicism from the United Methodist Church (UMC) by my husband who has been a Catholic since childhood.
I have always been proud of belonging to the CAFOD family, but being in Hyde Park at CAFOD’s invitation, creating opportunity for fellowship in the presence of the Pope while at the same time addressing poverty and disease through pushing for the world to meet the Millenium Development Goals, makes me even more proud to belong to this great organisation, an organisation rooted in Catholic faith and doctrine, linking faith and development in one.
I will conclude by saying it was an awesome moment of family get-together, while thinking and putting forward the concerns of the millions in need and in poverty. They may not have been in Hyde Park, but I could imagine them ‘standing up’ with us in spirit in their various homes, villages and towns millions of miles away.
CAFOD practicalised its Mission in Hyde Park during the Vigil – that is the impression I will take with me.”