What does a campaigner look like?

Sam Aidoo has just joined the campaigns team at CAFOD

Sam has just joined the campaigns team at CAFOD. Read about her journey into campaigning.

My name is Sam and I’m the new Campaigns Engagement Manager at  CAFOD. Campaigning has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I put this down to three main reasons: One – I’ve grown up in strongly Catholic campaigning environments. Two – I’m aware that campaigning is a right not everyone in this world has freely. Three –  I am committed to addressing this.

Actually, there’s a fourth reason.

There aren’t many campaigners I’ve encountered who look like me. As a British born, working class, black female with Ghanaian parentage, I’m not sure I fit the mould of ‘traditional campaigners’ in the UK.

Is that a problem? Yes, because it doesn’t reflect what really happens in our churches. It doesn’t really reflect the face of the church today. It neglects a large proportion of active Catholics with voices and with power.

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My parish in East London for example, is mostly attended by people from diaspora communities – West Africa, East Africa, South Africa! India, Malaysia, The Philippines, Poland… Two of our priests are from India. Our main priest speaks his Homilies with a strong East Coast accent, a native of Boston in the US. You might attend a parish that is similar. With decreased vocations to the priesthood in Europe and rising mass numbers from international communities, it’s likely.

Catholic communities of all kinds are committed to addressing issues that affect their communities. This is something to be celebrated and recognised.

Campaigning with CAFOD

I was drawn to working for CAFOD because I’ve grown up with CAFOD. I always felt I could be a part of their campaigns. I felt that my voice was also being called out for.

I have a lot of favourite CAFOD campaigns, but at the moment, I’m glued to Share the Journey. I can’t wait to see us wrack up the mileage on the totaliser. I’m inspired by the stories of solidarity and perseverance – of people completing walks in the UK and of refugees and migrants undertaking journeys of survival worldwide.

Put your faith into action

We know there is power in campaigning. We know that campaigning works. We might be shocked by how much power we actually have! Putting faith into action can be for everyone, no matter how little or how much time we have.

I pledge to put my faith into action by engaging with ‘non-traditional campaigners’ in my church. I am going to organise a Share the Journey walk with members of my church choir, 100% of whom are from, or descended from diaspora communities. We will keep it simple and just walk around our church, but this will add to our 24,900 mile goal.

Have you thought about how you can put your faith into action? Why not begin by signing up to receive our campaign e-newsletter?

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