Rachel has been acting as a Media volunteer in Westminster Diocese and Head Office for the summer. More information below if you think you might be interested in taking over!
I’ve spent the summer working with CAFOD as a media volunteer in Westminster Diocese and in the Campaigns and Media teams in CAFOD’s head office, Romero House in Lambeth. It’s been a really rewarding experience- I’ve learned a lot more the impact of CAFOD’s work and how their work is guided by the Catholic faith, gained some great experience, and been able to give back a bit.
I’m studying Geography at University and something I’ve always been interested in is how humans interact with the environment, how we shape and are shaped by the world around us. The current CAFOD campaign, One Climate, One World, looks at just this; how the poorest people in our society are affected by climate change.
Everyone I’ve worked with over the course of the summer has been incredibly welcoming and there was never a shortage of things to do. I spent a lot of time writing blog posts, articles, and press releases- for example for the CAFOD Westminster blog, the Westminster Record, and promoting CAFOD campaigns and resources. As well as getting some insight into how organisations interact with the media, this also gave me the opportunity to learn a lot about how CAFOD works around the world and the amazing things that UK supporters do to show their support. Alongside this work I helped out with keeping social media updated and lots of office admin and upkeep.
Being part of CAFOD has really opened my eyes to how much work goes on behind the scenes. Seeing a team of people in one part of the world working together to help people in a totally different place shows just how much good people are capable of doing and has inspired me to keep trying to make people around me aware of these global issues so that we can continue working towards a better world.
As well as working in the offices, I’ve been able to attend a few CAFOD events. Fr Edu Gariguez, the executive secretary of NASSA (Caritas Philippines, one of CAFOD’s partners), and an inspiring environmental activist, visited in July and I was lucky enough to hear him speak at Romero House. He gave us an update on the Philippines recovery after Typhoon Haiyan, and on other environmental projects and campaigns. It was fascinating to hear about environmental action in a country that is so affected by climate change.
I also went to V-Festival (Virgin Media’s annual music festival) as a CAFOD volunteer, which was great fun! Despite the 28⁰C heat on one day and pouring rain the next, we got 560 signatures on the Climate Petition. It really struck me how many people had never really made a link between climate change and poverty- but I know I hadn’t either until I got more involved in CAFOD, so to me it just says how important it is for us to keep having this conversation.
I feel so blessed to have spent my summer with CAFOD, to have been a part of something so meaningful and exciting. I would really encourage anyone who’s interested in volunteering for CAFOD to give it a go. Volunteers are vital to CAFOD and everyone can bring something new to the table.
If you’re interested, contact the Westminster team on 020 8449 6970 or fill in an volunteer Application Form and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org