Step into the Gap: Wasting our world away

Niamh Melton is a CAFOD Step into the Gap volunteer and is based at the Briars Centre, Nottingham. She recently returned from an overseas visit to Uganda. Here, she reflects on the experiences she had there.

Apply to Step into the Gap today

Continue reading “Step into the Gap: Wasting our world away”

Soup-er lunches for Lent

Joe, a volunteer from the CAFOD Birmingham team shares some inspiration from the St Osburg’s parish in Coventry on running a soup-erb lunch for Family Fast Day.

With Lent rapidly approaching, our thoughts will be turning to what we might give up, but, even more importantly, how we and our communities might give. Well, if we’re looking for inspiration, the people of St Osburg’s parish in Coventry provide a wonderful example.

Continue reading “Soup-er lunches for Lent”

Step into the Gap: Reaching rural communities in Uganda

Nicole Gillespie is a CAFOD Step into the Gap volunteer who has recently returned from an overseas visit to Uganda. Here, she reflects on what no one beyond reach means to her.

Apply to Step into the Gap today
Continue reading “Step into the Gap: Reaching rural communities in Uganda”

Step into the Gap: Different cultures encountered in Uganda

Nicole Gillespie is a Step into the Gap volunteer who has recently returned from an overseas trip to Uganda. Here, she shares some of the things she noticed about culture while on her trip.

Apply to Step into the Gap today

Continue reading “Step into the Gap: Different cultures encountered in Uganda”

Step into the Gap: Embarking on our overseas adventure

Our team of Step into the Gap volunteers are about to depart for their overseas trips to either the Holy Land or Uganda. We asked them how they are feeling and how they are preparing for their trips.

Apply to Step into the Gap today

Continue reading “Step into the Gap: Embarking on our overseas adventure”

Celebrating International Volunteers Day with volunteer stories from Nigeria

Oge Chukwudozie is a Humanitarian Capacity Strengthening Officer for CAFOD in Nigeria. Oge explains how community volunteers play such a vital role in CAFOD’s work to support remote communities.

As the most populous country on the continent, Nigeria is often referred to as the “Giant of Africa”. It is also large geographically, and transport links are poor in the more rural areas. It takes six hours for CAFOD staff to travel by road from Abuja to Omalla in Kogi state, and this is one of the closest areas where we work.

Community volunteers, supported by CAFOD and its partners, play an important role in supporting remote communities across Nigeria. This International Volunteers Day, on December 5th, I want to celebrate the important role that volunteers play in CAFOD’s work across the world, by sharing the stories of some of the wonderful volunteers in Nigeria.

Continue reading “Celebrating International Volunteers Day with volunteer stories from Nigeria”

Step into the Gap: Meet the new team of volunteers!

Welcome to our new team of CAFOD gap year volunteers! Read on to find out about their placements and what inspired them to join the programme.

Caroline Collins. Newman University, Birmingham

CAFOD gap year volunteers 2018/2019
Caroline

I’m Caroline and I’m based at Newman University in Birmingham. I first found out about CAFOD’s Step into the Gap programme when I did my first gap year at The Briars Youth Retreat Centre in the Nottingham Diocese. I studied Human Geography at university, and since then my passion for social justice has grown. My degree allowed me to gain a deeper understanding of the inequalities faced across the globe. As I was approaching the end of my studies, I realised I wanted to raise awareness and put my faith into action through working with CAFOD.

Work with young people? Explore our resources

Continue reading “Step into the Gap: Meet the new team of volunteers!”

Step into the Gap: How Cambodia changed me

Rod travelled to Cambodia with the Step into the Gap programme to meet CAFOD partners and the communities they work with.  One year on from his trip, Rod reflects on what it all meant to him.

Rod was a part of our gap year programme.
Rod reflects on his trip to Cambodia with CAFOD.

The way in which Cambodia changed me seems to come into view and then fall out again, oscillating in the busyness of life. When I was speaking to people about my trip to Cambodia almost every day, when it was my life, the changes it had made to me were more obvious. Now, to a certain extent they have become more blurred, because I am not thinking about the trip so much. But they are also clearer because I am able to look back at how it changed me from a distance.

Apply to be a Step into the Gap volunteer  

Continue reading “Step into the Gap: How Cambodia changed me”

Step into the Gap: Inspired by education

Isabel Marsh, who is currently on placement at St Cassian’s Centre, reflects on her time in El Salvador before she embarks on her fundraising journey 0 the Colchester half marathon.

Less than 12 hours after arriving in El Salvador, our group set off for the University of Central America (UCA) to meet with one of CAFOD’s partners. The UCA is a private university, meaning they are able to charge fees for students (but there are several scholarships and bursaries available) and are not reliant on government funding. This has meant the University has more autonomy and does not need to follow the views of the government, providing it with an independent and non-biased voice.

There is still time to apply to Step into the Gap 

We were led to the Social Outreach Vice-Rectorate, for our meeting with Omar Serrano, the Vice-Rector. We spent the morning with Omar and his colleague Eduardo. Omar shared with us about El Salvador – its history; politics; society and social norms and economy.

Continue reading “Step into the Gap: Inspired by education”

Step into the Gap: Reflecting on my time in Freetown

CAFOD volunteer, Chris Burkette, who is currently taking part in CAFOD’s Step into the Gap programme and is on placement at Walsingham House, reflects on his time meeting communities in Sierra Leone.

I know for so many people it can be rare to explore outside of Europe, but for many people here in Sierra Leone, it is even rarer that they journey beyond their communities.

Learn more about Step into the Gap

This week has been awe-inspiring, faith-driven and hope-filled. Each day I walked with and alongside members of the towns that made each community so unique.

Continue reading “Step into the Gap: Reflecting on my time in Freetown”