Climate Coalition: How to organise a week of action event to remember

Chloe and neighbours meeting their MP during the Climate Coalition week of action in 2016
Chloe and neighbours meeting their MP during the week of action in 2016

Hundreds of events will be springing up between 1-9 July as part of the Climate Coalition’s week of action. We asked Chloe, Jane and Bernard who organised events for last year’s week of action to tell us what they did and how it worked.

The thought of organising an event and inviting your MP can be daunting. But it doesn’t have to be. Students, faith groups, union members and many more will unite to meet their newly-elected MPs and talk about what we can do to tackle climate change.

Find out what’s happening near you during the Climate Coalition week of action

Continue reading “Climate Coalition: How to organise a week of action event to remember”

How young people are speaking up: A lesson from Zimbabwe

Nyarai Mutongwiza, CAFOD Zimbabwe
Nyarai Mutongwiza, CAFOD Zimbabwe

Nyarai Mutongwiza works with local partners in Zimbabwe to help young people use story-telling to get their voices heard. She reflects on how we can all speak up to influence decision-makers.

 

In every culture, stories are regarded as crucial. When I grew up, during evenings sitting around the fire, elders would begin: “Once upon a time…” and the story would go on.

These stories were fairy tales, but at the end of each session, the elders would each take a moment to reflect on the emotions in the story and the lessons learned.

Through this I began to understand that stories could bring a group together – evoking in every person sitting round that fire certain emotions, and sometimes tears.

Make your voice heard with CAFOD during this election period

Continue reading “How young people are speaking up: A lesson from Zimbabwe”

Climate action in the Philippines

CAFOD, as part of The Climate Coalition, is leading a week of action on climate and energy. In this blog CAFOD volunteer Alice explains how the changing climate is affecting communities in the Philippines.

 ‘Climate change is a global issue…it really is a task for the whole world to take on and work together to counteract.’

 My Step into the Gap year has come to an end, but is still playing a part in my life!

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Alice (second from right) in Peru as part of the Step into the Gap programme.

I spent some time during my year volunteering with CAFOD visiting CAFOD partners overseas to better understand how the changing climate is affecting people in communities where they work. The experience has really inspired me to continue volunteering.I heard about the Assumption Volunteers through CAFOD, and I’m now spending a year with them, and am volunteering for the environment office in the municipal government in the Philippines.

It’s the Speak Up week of action. Join an event near you

Continue reading “Climate action in the Philippines”

Great Generation: Speaking at mass

Antonia is a young leader from Sheffield. Here she shares her experience of volunteering with CAFOD, and speaking out for fairness and equality.

‘I really felt as though my talk had reached people. Not only had it raised awareness, it had also raised money and educated people so that they can also speak out for justice and equality.’ – Antonia

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Antonia (right) speaking at mass for CAFOD

Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve had a passion for helping others. I was always the first one to put money in the charity box or to purchase a wristband and badge at a fundraising stall. My mother has always taught me to be a generous person, and she says that sometimes it’s the smallest actions that can create the biggest impact.

In May I visited my local church in the hope that my small gestures may indeed amount to something much bigger.

Once I had learnt about CAFOD’s World Gifts range and enlightened others through assemblies at school, I felt the urge to spread the message to a wider community. I was amazed at how CAFOD could change so many people’s lives in this way and knew that it was my duty to pass this idea on to others. My initial instinct was to contact my childhood parish and try to organise a five minute slot where I could introduced CAFOD’s work on a deeper level and perhaps encourage others to get involved. Naturally, they had already heard about CAFOD and were more than happy for me to come in and speak to their congregation: I was delighted!

Continue reading “Great Generation: Speaking at mass”

Connect2: Brazil: communities connected through the power of cake

The Chesham Union of Catholic Mothers at St. Columba’s RC Church have baked hundreds of cakes to raise funds for Connect2: Brazil
The Chesham Union of Catholic Mothers at St. Columba’s RC Church have baked hundreds of cakes to raise funds for Connect2: Brazil

The Chesham Union of Catholic Mothers (UCM) group at St. Columba’s RC Church have a long history of supporting CAFOD’s work with our partners in Brazil. Starting from fundraising to supporting children in need in general, they explain how they came to be a Connect2: Brazil parish.

Learn more about Connect2: Brazil

We have always raised money for children who were in need and following a presentation about sewer children in Mexico, we decided to change the focus to South America. Parishioners, past and present, of St. Columba’s RC Church in Chesham have regularly and for many years donated to CAFOD via the CAFOD Envelopes. CAFOD has been an organisation dearly close to our hearts and is always well supported within the parish.

Continue reading “Connect2: Brazil: communities connected through the power of cake”

Speak Up climate lobby – making my voice heard

Sarah Hagger-Holt, CAFOD’s Campaigns Engagement Manager, tells us about her experience at the Speak Up climate lobby.

CAFOD climate lobby of parliamentOn 17 June, 9,000 people came to Westminster to speak to their MPs about climate change as part of The Climate Coalition Speak Up For the Love Of lobby of Parliament. They came in twos and threes or in coach-loads. For some it was a simple tube ride, while others got up before dawn or even travelled down by overnight bus. They came from almost every UK constituency.

Couldn’t make it to the lobby? It’s not too late to speak up

I spotted many familiar faces from past marches and lobbies, as well groups of schoolchildren experiencing their first taste of campaigning for change. I saw parents with their babies sleeping in slings, and caught up with a group of Sisters, all well into their 70s, having the time of their lives waving their banners and chatting to other CAFOD supporters.

It can be lonely to be a campaigner

It can be lonely to be a campaigner. I sometimes feel that my voice is tiny compared to the global systems that dominate our world. But this was a day when we were strong: in numbers, in diversity and in commitment for a world where all can flourish. Continue reading “Speak Up climate lobby – making my voice heard”

Great generation: St Mary’s school at the Speak Up climate lobby

Students from St Mary’s School, Newcastle, travelled to London on the day of the Speak Up For The Love Of climate lobby to meet their MPs and voice their concerns about climate change. In this blog they reflect on the day.

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Students from St Mary’s with Ed Miliband (MP for Doncaster)

Climate change is a huge issue which has been dramatically affecting our world that we live in, by destroying the beauty of nature, diminishing wild life and even making the poor suffer more.

These are just the first consequences of this problem, as climate change is an issue that can affect us all directly and also our future generations. It is a problem that will completely wipe out all life, in years to come.

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The St Mary’s team with Catherine McKinnell (MP for Newcastle North)

This is why CAFOD is taking action. On the 17 of June, CAFOD invited students from various parts of the UK to represent their area and voice their views on climate change to their MPs. We were among the many hundreds and thousands of young people who were keen and enthusiastic to express our opinions and views to our MPs about climate change. We travelled to London to participate in this significant campaign.

Watch the film of the lobby

After our arrival, we were kindly welcomed to the CAFOD community in London, where we were able to understand more about CAFOD and its work. Additionally, CAFOD organised many activities, where we were all able to talk to other young people from different parts of the UK to know more about their views on this matter.

Continue reading “Great generation: St Mary’s school at the Speak Up climate lobby”

My experience speaking up

Sarah Croft is CAFOD’s campaigns officer. This is her reflection on the Speak Up climate lobby last week. Find out how you can take action on climate change with CAFOD.

Speak Up lobby 17 June
Sarah with CAFOD supporters at Speak Up

When I first moved to London, I had high ambitions. I wasn’t going to become that stereotype of a Londoner, I was going to say a cheerful morning to people on my way to the office, I was going to break the ultimate rule and make eye contact with people on the tube.

Fast forward three years, and a couple of awkward conversations about my staring, I am sorry to say it did not last. My conversations quickly became limited to sighing about delayed trains or the weather.

It was so refreshing to go along to the Speak Up lobby outside parliament last week and to see people engaged in conversation with each other. I found myself exchanging a smile with a surfer trying to get his board through parliament security, with an 84 year old nun who was enjoying the beautiful sunshine after having had tea with her MP and students from a college just round the corner where I live. Continue reading “My experience speaking up”

CAFOD staff’s tips for how to lobby your MP

Ffion Dean is the CAFOD Web Editor. Speak Up for the Love Of will be her first lobby and the first time she’s met her local MP.

Ffion with bunting
Ffion getting ready for the lobby with her bunting.

Climate change is an issue which really concerns me. It’s going to cause problems for lots of things I care about from spring flowers to people overseas living in harsh climates. I signed up to meet my MP at the climate change event on 17 June as soon as I heard about it. Using the form on the CAFOD website I also emailed my MP to make sure he would be there.

Last week he emailed back to say he’d be available to meet me. And then I got scared.

I’ve never met him before and I don’t know what his views are on climate change. What if he’s a climate change denier and we argue all afternoon? What if he asks me difficult questions? What if he’s not very nice to me?

Badger my MP
Susy is going to keep contacting her MP until she gets a response

Fortunately I received the Climate Coalition briefing guide today with tips on what to say to my MP and I also work in a building with lots of experienced campaigners. Here is some of their advice.

Try and get your MP to come

Use the form on the CAFOD website to tell your MP you’d like to meet them at Speak Up for the Love Of. If you don’t hear back try another way of getting in touch – phone their office or tweet them. Continue reading “CAFOD staff’s tips for how to lobby your MP”

Climate campaign: Your guide to making bunting

Nuns make bunting for CAFOD climate campaignSarah works in CAFOD’s campaigns team.

As mum to two small girls, I’m used to spending my time cutting and sticking. But it’s not so often that this is part of my day job at CAFOD.

Yet, after a day spent reflecting on care for creation with two communities of Sisters and other campaigners, I was surrounded by glue and coloured paper, making bunting.

On Wednesday 17 June, I’ll be joining thousands of people at Parliament to call on our MPs for action on climate change, for the love of creation and for our neighbours.

Join us. Sign up for Speak Up For The Love Of on 17 June now

It’s not doom and gloom, but a day to celebrate our beautiful world and our desire to protect it. Which is where the bunting comes in.

Groups will bring home-made bunting to the event to show their MPs the reasons we care about climate change. Continue reading “Climate campaign: Your guide to making bunting”