Allie Phillip leads Caritas St Lucia’s ‘Youth Emergency Action Committees’ (YEACs), which help vulnerable communities be their own first responders when disasters strike.
St Lucia is in the ‘hurricane belt’ of the Caribbean. The YEACs are run by young people who train other community members to be prepared for, mitigate, and manage responses to extreme weather.
Allie also coordinates the Church’s regional emergency response and the network of YEACs in the Caribbean. Hurricane Irma in 2017 was a particularly bad hurricane, killing people and destroying communities in 14 countries.
Here, Allie offers Sam from our campaigns team her reflections on her current work, climate change and young people.
Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’ has inspired and challenged CAFOD in the way we work. Susy Brouard, from CAFOD’s theology team, and Gisele Henriques, from our international programmes team, reflect on how.
In June 2015 Pope Francis issued the encyclical Laudato Si’. The sub-title was “on care for our common home”. The letter was addressed not just to Catholics, and not just to people of faith. It was addressed to every citizen on the planet.
Pope Francis recognises that we have a common problem – environmental and social degradation. This problem will require a common solution so everyone is invited to be involved! As the Pope stated: “I urgently appeal, then, for a new dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet.” (# 14)
As a Catholic development agency CAFOD took the Pope’s invitation to dialogue very seriously. We felt we were in a good position to contribute constructively to the conversation. At the same time, we also saw that Laudato Si’ contained within it many challenges about the way we live and work. This included our approach to international development. We realised that we might be required to change some of the ways we think and work.