Eighteen CAFOD supporters gathered in Belgium last month at a sustainability camp. They joined other Catholic sister agencies for a one week camp. They got together to reflect on topics related to climate change, ecological living, Laudato Si’, activism and sustainability. Bridgid Duffy, a CAFOD Climate Champion, shares with us her experience.
After a long, hot day of carrying several tents from the UK to Belgium, we reached our destination – Wereldkamp 2018. We were all invited by CIDSE. CIDSE is an international alliance of Catholic development agencies working together for global justice. The smiling faces of the CIDSE volunteers were the first people to greet us. As soon as we caught sight of the camp, there was an undeniable sense of community. Children were playing football on the dusty ground under the hazy sunshine. The adults were preparing dinner on the peripheries of the magical forest. In that moment I realized that everyone was there for one common goal: to learn what our role is in creating a more sustainable world. My heart began to race. I knew it was the beginning of a powerful and inspirational week.
Julia is a CAFOD volunteer. She has recently been working with our Campaigns team so has decided to take on an environmental Lent Challenge. Here she tells us why giving up plastic will be so difficult.
This lent I am challenging myself to give up buying single use plastic. You may have heard the term ‘single use plastic’ in the news recently. It means plastic that is used one time before being thrown away or put into the recycling bin.
Single use plastic is used in a lot of things for example straws, paper cups, water bottles, packaging, shampoo bottles, toothpaste tubes, make up products, medicines and plenty of other items. I use these items every day.
Still not sure what to give up for Lent? Take the CAFOD Lent quiz for inspiration!
The lasting effect of Lent
Last February, I attended a retreat weekend where I was challenged on the impact I have on the planet. The discussion ranged from how much meat I consume to how our waste culture encourages us to throw away. Continue reading “Giving up plastic for Lent”
Jason Sheehan, a CAFOD volunteer for the Nottingham Diocese, explains how his CAFOD gap year inspired him to continue volunteering, campaigning and fighting for social justice. His latest project involves encouraging people in his community to speak up about the climate after he attended an inspiring camp in Portugal.
After my experience on CAFOD’s gap year programme ‘Step Into The Gap’ I left my year enriched with memories from working with thousands of young people in my placement to witnessing and regularly discussing CAFOD’s work with partners in Zimbabwe.
That became my lifestyle for a year, to fully give myself to making some form of impact inspired by the values of CAFOD no matter how big or small. It was after leaving that structured program that I worried about whether this would be something that I would be able to continue, would there be other opportunities that motivated me to act?
That was when I became aware of the opportunity to become a Climate Champion. It’s very easy to sit on the sidelines of change, to put your faith in something or someone else to sort things out but if our world as a collective had that mindset then no progress would be made. For me this opportunity to be a Climate Champion encouraged me to act upon that, to take ownership and action on changing our climate.
of them have been looking at living more sustainably. Two of our blogging groups, from St James’s and St Robert’s, have been looking at ways in which they can do this individually, and on a wider level in their school communities.
Kayleigh, from St James, says:
“We at St James are trying to be very environmentally friendly. Before we started blogging, we already had a few things in place. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the installation of a wind turbine and solar panels at the school. We are now re-launching the E-squad to let people know what we have done and can do ourselves. The E-squad’s motto is recycle, reuse, reduce. Here is our notice board that raises awareness and reminds us of the small changes we can all make. Throughout the school, recycling takes place dividing litter into three different categories. If everyone does their bit, then we will can make a difference together.”
The St Robert’s bloggers also encourage us to think how lifestyle changes, such as turning the heating down, can play a part. They’ve been inspired by a recent trip to the European Parliament, arranging a private meeting with their MEP Jude Kirton-Darling. They said that the trip gave them “an insight into what other countries and the European Union itself is doing to combat climate change, whether it is through emissions cuts or more investment in renewable energy. Continue reading “Our CAFOD young climate bloggers: How to live more sustainably”