CAFOD’s Neil Roper remembers last year’s virtual fun run, while looking forward to this year’s virtual run and the return of the Liverpool and Bollington fun runs – inviting you, your family and friends to get involved this year.
CAFOD supporters from all over England and Wales braved the cold to take part in our virtual national fun run over Christmas, raising almost £20,000 so far. Ciara Hogan, our Community Participation Coordinator in the Shrewsbury diocese, looks back on the event.
Our team of Step into the Gap volunteers are about to depart for their overseas trips to either Sierra Leona or Nicaragua and El Salvador. We asked them how they are feeling and how they are preparing for their trips.
Kayleigh, Christopher, Siobhan and Hannah are travelling to Sierra Leone.
Kayleigh is on placement at The Briars youth residential centre in Nottingham diocese
At The Briars we use our morning prayer time and workshop sessions to help young people be aware of many of the issues facing communities in Sierra Leone, for example, recovering from the recent landslide.
When I get back from visiting Sierra Leone I will get the opportunity to visit groups of young people and share what I’ve learnt, and I am so keen to get out there to tell them about the people of Sierra Leone, as I already know that they are invested in what I will be seeing and who I will be meeting. I cannot contain my gratitude and excitement and I truly acknowledge that this programme is a once in a lifetime.
In July, Takura Gwatinyanya, from CAFOD partner Caritas Harare, will be travelling across England and Wales to share his passion for tackling poverty and to show how your support is making a difference in Zimbabwe.
Meet Takura and discover more about CAFOD’s climate and energy campaign at a series of special events, starting in London on Wednesday 6 July.
We caught up with Takura to ask his about his family, his work and what keeps him motivated.
Tell us a little bit about your family.
I am married to Rutendo Avriel, and we have one five-year-old son.
You’re an expert in water and sanitation. What makes you passionate about this area?
My experience in sanitation and humanitarian work has shown me that access to water and sanitation is a fundamental human right. It bring human dignity, with immediate and evidenced results. The need for decent water and sanitation cuts across all ages and all backgrounds, it doesn’t matter whether you are rich or poor.
Pumps run on solar power are helping people in the communities where I work to access clean water and are reducing the time it takes people to collect water.
Margaret, a spirituality volunteer from the Shrewsbury diocese, shares the strong role of her faith, and how this motivates her to volunteer.
I have always been interested in the work of CAFOD, and inspired and impressed by its spirit, which is rooted in the Gospel. For me, having faith cannot be separated from living this faith, in the reality of everyday life.
I have spent my professional life in education, in one form or another. My last job was Assistant Director of Schools in the Diocese of Shrewsbury, where I worked for 11 ½ years. I retired in July 2011, and since then I have been involved in working in different parishes around the Diocese, delivering both training and reflective sessions for readers, Eucharistic Ministers, parish retreats, and so on.
At present, I am working as a spirituality volunteer. This includes helping to prepare liturgies for various occasions, linking Scripture with CST, and rooting this in everyday life. Who knows what else I may do!
This week is National Volunteer Week, and we’re celebrating the amazing and varied work of our CAFOD volunteers. Schools volunteer Toni Woodhead shares her experience of visiting schools, getting creative and inspiring children to take action for CAFOD.
Being a school volunteer has been rewarding and enlightening, even with the preparation time and the first scary moments in front of the children. I have even found a creative side to myself and it is amazing how much it is developing!
The resources from CAFOD are always great and usually contains all the information about what is needed. At first this was all I used but as confidence grows, so do the ideas. From the first dirty water container and the wonderfully wrapped clean water, to the straw animal from Ikea that looked like a supergoat once a red cloak was added, I have started to look at every shape and size in a different way. I used glass spheres in a bucket for the weight instead of water. I bought child size garden tools for the “place at the table” and large sand toys for the “dig deep”. For the funny shaped food I got pictures from the internet and made them A4 size so the children could see them. They found them enjoyable. I found an old box in the loft that I cleaned and stuck on the words “treasure”.