Chris, Bernie, Kate, and Steph from CAFOD’s Step into the Gap programme have written about their week with the Sisters of the Guardian Angel, who work to support young people in Nicaragua.
We have just spent a week with The Sisters of the Guardian Angel. They have been involved with CAFOD for many years and work in many communities around Managua and the surrounding regions. They run a three-year youth leadership diploma programme for young adults based on practical experience of helping to lead youth groups and children’s groups. The training is enhanced by CAFOD’s support of Envio, a monthly magazine on social and justice issues and workshops that explore current affairs affecting Nicaragua and the rest of Central America. The youth leaders are encouraged to go along to the workshops whenever they can.
What makes a perfect leader?
We asked David and Rafael, two young leaders in their communities “What makes a perfect leader?” They replied, “The ability to give of oneself,” and explained that to make a change you really have to be selfless especially with your time and gifts. Second we asked “What is your biggest hope for the future?” and their answer was, to build a “brighter future” through making a change person by person. They said, “making one change in ten people is an achievement” because that could have a very large domino effect. And last, “What do the Sisters mean to you?” and their answer really struck a chord to many of us. To them the “Sisters are angels here on earth, they were placed here to walk alongside those in need, they are lights in the darkness”. For us these young people are also lights, passionate to make a change in the world starting in their very own communities.
We witnessed this week, when assisting in the children’s canteen, meeting the people in the young leadership programme and in the women who meet weekly to share and learn together, the Sisters’ work empowering the people of Nicaragua. Empowering them to make a change in their friends, in their families, in their own communities and through that they grow themselves. It has been an amazing privilege to meet them all. We were welcomed with open arms and it honestly felt like we were part of their family by the end of the week, making it very hard to leave. We can only wish them the very best in their futures.