CAFOD Westminster welcomed schools volunteers new and old to their offices earlier this month for a day focused on inspiring schools throughout Westminster to Thirst for Change this Lent.
The day was an excellent opportunity for new volunteers to meet other school volunteers from around the diocese and brainstorm new and creative ways of inspiring children and teachers to make a difference for the developing world in their daily lives. Vicky Ahmed, of CAFOD’s schools and youth team, was also on hand to demonstrate CAFOD’s new Lent resources, highlighting the importance of water to everyday life and the impact giving it up for water this Lent could have. (link to lent resources)
The most inspiring part of the day was hearing stories of how the schools received and responded to each volunteer’s presentation, such as a class of 17 year old boys who, having paid less than rapt attention to most of the presentation, viewed—in complete silence–a slideshow of images of those with whom CAFOD works, and were moved to spontaneous applause. Volunteer Susan Harmer spoke of an occasion where, during a World Auction exercise, a class of Year Sevens came together after having difficulty grasping the wealth gap between rich and poor nations:
“… they came together to form a mini UN in the classroom. I remember thinking it would be really nice if we all could do that in the real world.”
In addition to the new resources and the understanding of CAFOD’s Lent campaign, volunteers took away a tremendous sense of camaraderie from the day. Working in schools is a an important element of CAFOD’s work, and it was empowering for the volunteers to know that their contribution is of such incredible value, and that there is such a committed and focused group of volunteers and professionals behind them to help them confidently face the challenge of speaking to a group of potentially rambunctious school children.
“It can be quite daunting,” said volunteer Bridget French, “but it is really inspiring to see the moment when the idea clicks with them”.
If you are a teacher who would like to invite a CAFOD representative into your school, please contact us on 020 8449 6970 or firstname.lastname@example.org
With 200 schools in the diocese, we are always looking for new volunteers to inspire children and teachers to make a difference for the developing world. If you’re interested in public speaking or working with children, this could be the opportunity for you! We’d be happy to tell you more and help you get involved, and have a plethora of great resources to use as well, so do get in touch with us at CAFOD Westminster: 0208 449 6970 or email@example.com.