CAFOD Schools Volunteers- Inspiring the next generation

“Sometimes it falls on a generation to be great. You can be that great generation. Let your greatness blossom.”

These famous words from Nelson Mandela’s Make Poverty History speech in 2005 have been the inspiration behind much of CAFOD’s work with children and young people. They are the next generation of world leaders and decision makers, and it is so important that they are in the know about global issues- and that they know they can do something about it.

CAFOD has a dedicated team of education volunteers who visit schools in their local diocese and engage young people from primary all the way up to sixth form in learning about the world around them, the injustices their brothers and sisters around the world face and the hope they have.

Some of the schools volunteers at a refresher day at Westminster offce

Some of the schools volunteers at a refresher day at Westminster office

What do the volunteers do?

Our volunteers go into schools to give assemblies and workshops. These might just be introducing the students to CAFOD, if they haven’t really heard of us, or focused around a campaign or appeal like Harvest Fast Day. The workshops take a bit of time away from lessons but they really engage the children and get them thinking and active- doing everything from carrying water to empathise with girls who travel miles each day to fetch water to live, to running around a ‘village’ learning to survive emergencies.

The talks, reflections and activities the volunteers use each focus on a young person in a community CAFOD works alongside. Each of these young people has faced incredible challenges, be it gang violence, drought, poverty, and still holds hope. Though their everyday lives may be totally different, the students our volunteers work with can relate to these young people, and seeing how they are trying to change their communities inspires them to do the same.

This year the team have visited more schools than ever before, reaching 38% of Catholic schools in England and Wales, plus a few non-Catholic! Between them the inspired and creative students in these schools have raised an amazing £860,382 to help young people like themselves around the world.

Volunteers getting to know some exciting new resources!

Many young people have a real passion for justice and change, and CAFOD want to encourage that. If you would like to invite a CAFOD schools volunteer to come to your school get in touch with CAFOD Westminster on westminster@cafod.org.uk or 0208 449 6970.

Almost anyone can be a schools volunteer; if you think it may be for you (or even if you’re not sure and want to have a chat about it) please do get in touch on the details above!

If your school is not in the Westminster Diocese you can find your diocesan office here

In the meantime, if you are in need of inspiration for your school, there is a wealth of resources, including information on the Refugee Crisis, on the CAFOD Education website which are free for all to use.

And finally, remember to Brighten Up your school for this Harvest Fast Day! Violence around the world stops children from going to school, going out to play and achieving their full potential. But you can Brighten Up this Harvest and play your part to help build a brighter world and make a difference to the lives of others. However you raise money, make it bright!

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