Jim Quinn, from the Birmingham diocese, is planning to walk 155 miles on a personal pilgrimage to raise awareness of CAFOD’s Thirst for change campaign. We caught up with Jim to find out more about his hopes for the walk and what inspired him to action.
Where are walking and when? I’m setting off from St Chad’s Cathedral in Birmingham on 22 April, travelling 155 miles along the Grand Union canal to finish at CAFOD‘s office Romero House on 15 May. On the 15 May, tens of thousands of campaign messages will be delivered to the Prime Minister.
I’ll be travelling through three dioceses: Birmingham, Northampton and Westminster. I will be joined on the last day by my parish priest, Father Eddie Clare, one or more parishioners, Campaign volunteer James Walker and Becky, another walker, who will be coming to the end of her own walk for water along the full length of the Thames! Continue reading
On Tuesday, Amy Fox, CAFOD Diocesan Officer (Youth) visited St. Mary the Immaculate Youth Group in Warwick to help the young people prepare for the Flame Youth Congress.
CAFOD has been closely involved in organising Flame and, excitingly, the programme will include young speakers from the CAFOD-supported St John’s Sports Society in Kenya, who will talk about how sport has changed their lives and transformed their community.
Flame will also see the launch of Pass It On, CAFOD’s solidarity campaign for the Olympics, which gives young people the opportunity to film themselves passing on a message of peace to those who will be living in conflict during 2012.
Following a game of Jambo! an icebreaker played by the members of St John’s Sports Society, we looked at some of the issues faced by young people in Korogocho, the Nairobi slum where St John’s Sports Society is based. The young people got into teams (The Awkward Team v. The Obese Penguins!) for All To Play For, one of CAFOD’s new Olympic Activities: a game of handball with a difference. The ball was made from recycled carrier bags and every time a goal was scored, one of the causes of poverty in Korogocho was eliminated. The players were given forfeits throughout the game, based on the difficulties facing young people in Korogocho.
The young people were challenged to visit the CAFOD station at Flame to take part in Pass It On… and encourage as many other people as possible to do the same!
If you would like Amy or one of our volunteers to visit your youth group to run a session, or if you would like any other support to enage your young people in global justice, please call 01922 722 944 or e-mail email@example.com.
If you are coming to Flame on Saturday, don’t forget to visit the CAFOD station and Pass It On!
On Monday, Amy Fox, CAFOD Diocesan Officer (Youth) visited Holy Family Youth Group in Coventry to introduce Thirst For Change.
We started with Jambo! an icebreaker game played by members of the CAFOD-supported St John’s Sports Society in Kenya, then the young people competed to build the tallest tower… with unequal resources.
We looked at some of the statistics around water use in the UK and in poor countries: some of the more surprising facts were that it takes 2.5 million litres of water to fill an Olympic swimming pool, and that people in the UK flush five times as much water down the toilet every day as people in the world’s poorest countries have for drinking, washing and cooking.
We heard the story of Angel and Rosena who, until CAFOD installed a borehole in their community, had to walk for 45 minutes to the nearest river to collect water. In Angel’s words: “Since the borehole arrived things are good because the water is near, and it is clean and free from animal droppings.” We thought about some of the ingredients that went into the water Angel and Rosena had to drink before the borehole was built and we illustrated this by adding items like vegetable peelings, animal droppings and mud to clean water.
The young people then imagined they would have to drink the water and they made model water filters to see if they could make it look clean again. The water filters worked but took a long time and everyone agreed they wouldn’t want to have to wait that long for a drink! The water filters we made were only models and, although it looked clean, the water wasn’t safe to drink: a filter big enough to make the water safe would take three days to work!
We finished with Scripture readings and prayers on the theme of water and the young people wrote messages on water droplets urging David Cameron to take action to ensure everyone can access clean water and sanitation.
If you would like Amy or one of our volunteers to visit your youth group to run a session, or if you would like any other support to enagage your young people in global justice, please call 01922 722944 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Birmingham School Volunteer Jane Lavery visited Our Lady of Mount Carmel First School in Redditch to tell the pupils about CAFOD’s Thirst for Change campaign and to see their River of Change, a river of coins flowing through the school hall. See the school’s website for inspiring photos:
What motivated Romero? “Friendship”, said a little boy on the back row. Last Friday 16 March, CAFOD helped launched a week of Romero anniversary events across the UK, starting at Birmingham cathedral.
About 150 people attended a beautiful Mass, followed by a talk, video and discussion about Archbishop Romero’s contribution to the Church’s mission of peace and justice.
“Please tell the people of El Salvador never to give up their struggle for justice”, said a man in a wheelchair. A lady added, “Do you know if people there pray for us? We need their prayers too”.
These messages will be shared at Romero events in El Salvador during the coming week, expressing our solidarity with those who continue Romero’s work for justice there.