A big thank you goes out to the students and teachers at St Columba’s College, St Alban’s, who, on Tuesday 11 September, welcomed CAFOD partner Father John Webootsa, who visited their school from Kenya to talk about CAFOD’s work fighting for a better life in the slums.
Father John has had strong connections with the school ever since sixth formers Theo and Emet and teacher Steve Jones visited him during a trip to Kenya to see the work of CAFOD and its partners last year.
Father John talked to students about his work with CAFOD’s partner organisation, St John’s Sports Society. The society works to bring sporting opportunities to young people living in Korogocho, a low-income, informal settlement of around 150,000 people located in East Nairobi, Kenya. Father John, who has himself lived and worked in the slum for the past seven years in order to better help its residents, said:
“So many young people in Korogocho feel the need to turn to crime to make a living. We are trying to use sport and other means to lead them away from this and give them the opportunity for a better quality of life.”
Speaking of the support the sports centre receives from CAFOD, Father John said:
“Our big motivation is that we are not alone. It is good to come [to the UK] and feel the solidarity we share with our brothers and sisters here. Even though we are far apart, we share the same aims for Korogocho and that thought helps us to continue our work.”
On their return home from Kenya, Theo and Emet were inspired to try to do something to help the people of Korogocho. In March this year they helped to organise an attempt by their school to break the world record for the most consecutive football passes. The gathering of more than 600 students, teachers and visitors succeeded in reaching a total of 639 passes, smashing the former record of 557. The event raised £25,000 which was donated to St John’s Sport Society to go towards a new gym.
Thank you once again to all those who attended or helped to organise the event, to Father John for delivering a fascinating an inspiring talk and to St Columba’s College for their continued support of CAFOD and its partners.
Without your support, the work of organisations such as CAFOD and St John’s Sports Society would not be able to continue. With Harvest Fast Day coming up, now is the perfect time to organise a fundraising event to help support the work of people like Father John. To find out more about Harvest Fast Day and how you can help, visit the CAFOD Harvest Fast Day webpage by clicking here.
Helping those that need it most can be as simple as signing your name. As part of the Hungry for Change Campaign, CAFOD is currently petitioning Prime Minister David Cameron to help make fair distribution of food a priority. To sign the petition, go to http://www.cafod.org.uk/Campaign/Take-action-today/Hungry-for-change.
Here is a slideshow of all the photos taken at the event: