Two weeks after my first training session I was provided with the opportunity to shadow two CAFOD staff members, Jon and Tania, who were talking to a confirmation group at St Hugh of Lincoln in Letchworth.
Upon arrival we met the catechists and the confirmation group, both of whom were very welcoming. The presentation began with a well-crafted activity and presentation from Jon. A game of Pictionary was used to illustrate that a church, which had been portrayed by most of the participants as a building with a steeple and cross, was more than a simple structure, it is a community. It was then explained how we have a duty as Catholics to others who live in poverty within this community and indeed the rest of the world.
A series of group discussions then commenced in which the young Catholics discussed the issues of poverty and inequality. These group discussions were a great way of getting everyone involved. I found discussing poverty and inequality with the groups extremely interesting; I was able to observe these issues through an entirely new perspective. What’s more, the confirmation group displayed a much greater understanding of the church as a community, a rewarding feeling in itself.
My experience in a primary school environment was equally as rewarding. I shadowed an assembly at St Thomas More primary school in Berkhamstead by two experienced CAFOD volunteers, Angela and Lesley. The school was warm and welcoming, making our time there as smooth as possible. Over several visits, Angela and Lesley had built up a brilliant working relationship with the school and this served to benefit the children. They already had knowledge of poverty in some parts of the world and were extremely proud of the money their school had already raised for CAFOD projects. One moment which particularly struck me was when a boy in year 4 chose a bag of rice over a bag of gold when asked to pick a treasure. He understood that, to many people in the developing world, the rice was far more important than gold, something I probably didn’t realise at that age.
With the World Cup just around the corner, now is a great time to be discussing the effects of football for the developing world. While the World Cup has also negatively affected people living in the Brazilian favelas and rainforests, the sport can be used as a great tool for reconciliation and creating a sense of community. More information can be found here: cafod.org.uk/Education/Young-people
If you work for a school or with a confirmation group in the Westminster diocese then why not contact CAFOD’s local office to book a CAFOD volunteer to talk about the World Cup from a development perspective?
You can contact the office on TEL. 0208 449 6970 or email firstname.lastname@example.org