Youth leaders: The People’s Climate March

Leah Fox is a volunteer at Youth Ministry Team in the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle. Here she reflects on her first experience of campaigning with CAFOD. In March Leah will be continuing her journey with CAFOD’s campaigning in a visit to Parliament with other youth leaders from across the country.

At the end of November I was asked to go and join CAFOD at the People’s Climate March in London. This was a peaceful demonstration to voice the opinion to world leaders that they need to act against climate change, just before they met in Paris to make some very important decisions. Climate change affects so many people across the world, but especially those living in poverty, so I was very excited to be joining others to help encourage world leaders to recognise and act on this issue.

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Leah (left) campaigning with other youth leaders at the climate march.

Get crafty and make, wear and share a green heart this Valentine’s Day

When I was asked to go, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I had never been on any sort of march so I naively thought that there might be a few hundred people marching through London, interrupting people’s busy lives. So I was very surprised to join over 50,000 people walking from Hyde Park to Whitehall!

When we first arrived at the meeting point for the entire march we made our way to the section which had people from different faith groups marching together, towards the front. CAFOD was one of many faith-based charities that were marching. There were more people there already than I could ever have imagined. Soon we all had a CAFOD placard and a few others and myself drew green hearts on our faces to represent CAFOD. The energy from the march was amazing, with cheering, music and people talking over speakers. Politicians from every major political party spoke before the march to show what their party would do to prevent climate change.

Find out more about climate change 

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The climate march took place ahead of the Paris COP where world leaders met to discuss climate change

Throughout the march we saw people from different charities marching on behalf of different reasons (some were even dressed as polar bears or bumble bees!) but despite the many reasons for people being there, it felt amazing to be united with so many people, marching for one outcome – to stop climate change. I got to talk to many people from CAFOD and other charities over the course of the march and talk about my faith and the amazing things we can do to help raise awareness of climate change and how it’s affecting communities across the world.

At the end of the day, we were all very tired from walking, but left the walk feeling very happy and fulfilled knowing that we had helped raise awareness to people that climate change is a problem and needs to be stopped.

Join our campaign, One Climate, One World to protect our common home. 

All Saints Young Climate Bloggers reflect on food waste

Throughout this year we have been blogging for CAFOD about climate change. When I first started I thought it would be mostly just about global warming and saving energy, but I have learnt it is so much more than that. I have never really stopped to think about how the actions of people in this country affected the lives of those in poorer countries.  

All Saints bloggers find out more about climate change
All Saints bloggers find out more about climate change

As well as saving energy, we need to think about how much of the earth’s resources we use and how wasteful we are.

Watch our Laudato Si’ animation and be inspired

Everyone talks about how we, as a country, need to save money and learn to live on less but I never really stopped to think about the big difference each family can make. Last week I watched Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s programme on food waste.

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Young Climate Bloggers Celebration

On Thursday 5 and Friday 6 November, the CAFOD Young Climate Bloggers came down to Romero House for two packed days of reflection, workshops and celebration. Their original task was to blog monthly about climate change but they have gone above and beyond this. Since January, between them, they have written over 70 blogs and vlogs, spoken to MPs, raised money for those who are affected by climate change, have thousands of followers on social media accounts and raised awareness about climate change in their own communities and beyond.

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CAFOD Young Climate Bloggers visit Romero House to celebrate their achievements.
CAFOD Young Climate Bloggers visit Romero House to celebrate their achievements.

Part of their task on the two days they were in Romero House was to produce a vlog, as a group, to reflect on their year of blogging. You can watch this above.

Young Climate Bloggers Rap

We’re the CAFOD bloggers and we’re here to stay

We’re from different schools from across the UK.

We’re talking to you ‘cause we care about the earth,

Protect the planet, show what it’s worth.

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Close-up on Climate: Bernie’s reflection on St Mary’s, Blackpool’s outstanding video entry

Gapper Bernie at the climate lobby
Bernie worked at St Mary’s, Blackpool, as part of her year with Step Into the Gap

The Climate Coalition ran the film project, Close-up on Climate, which invited young people between the ages of 5-18 to make films highlighting the issue of climate change. Three films were chosen as being outstanding in each age category. Bernie Goddard, who took part in CAFOD’s Step into the Gap programme last year, writes about her experience of working with the young people at St Mary’s Blackpool to make their film.

Get involved with the Climate Campaign

As a Gapper at St Mary’s, part of my role was to keep an eye out for what projects CAFOD were running which I could encourage students to get involved in. The Climate Coalition film project, Close-up, was an amazing way to get students involved in a current issue which they had heard about from me when I returned from Nicaragua and shared my experiences with them. I had also spent time attending meetings with CAFOD and had heard of the Climate Coalition: the coming together of many organisations to focus on climate change education and campaigning. This, along with seeing the effects of how climate change impacts others in our world, inspired me to get the young people involved in this project.

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CAFOD young leaders at the premier of ‘He Named Me Malala’

On 8 October ‘He Named Me Malala’ premiered at the British Film Institute (BFI), London. This documentary film tells the story of Malala Yousafzai whose story has gripped the world. Three of our young leaders, Ladi, Flo and Katherine, had the opportunity to go along to this event and here they reflect on this experience. 

Youth leaders at the premier of 'He Callled me Malala'
Katherine, Flo and Ladi at the premier of ‘He Called Me Malala’

Flo’s reflection:

On October 9th, 2012, the Taliban shot Malala in the head on her way home from school. This assassination attempt sparked international condemnation for the Taliban, but also mass support for Yousafzai and her campaign of ‘equal education’.

Become a campaigner yourself – find out about campaigning with CAFOD

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