The Olympic Games traditionally takes place during 100 days of peace. But as London 2012 gets underway, we know there are communities around the world for whom peace still isn’t a reality.
Back in April we told you about Flame 2012, the UK’s largest catholic event, which brought together over 8,000 young people to celebrate their faith and achievements. The event provided the perfect backdrop for the official unveiling of Pass it On, CAFOD’s Olympics peace campaign aimed at children and young people in England and Wales.Four young CAFOD ambassadors joined Abdi Dima, representing CAFOD’s Kenyan partner the St John’s Sports Society, on the Wembley stage to launch Pass it On. They shared their own personal accounts of how they have seen sport bring people together before orchestrating an 8,500 strong Mexican wave around the arena to symbolise the ‘passing on’ of peace to everyone in the room.
Deborah Olakigbe, a CAFOD school volunteer, writes about her experience of the Flame Congress:
‘I thought the Flame congress was great, it was really enjoyable. It’s the first time I’ve been to an event on such a large scale for young Catholics. I guess I often have the perception that there aren’t many Catholic teenagers and young people that are driven by their faith or that feel proud or confident enough to express it in the presence of others. I think the event demonstrated that this isn’t necessarily the case, and I imagine to have been in the presence of many other young Catholics will have been a great confidence boost for the young people there who maybe do sometimes feel shy or reserved about their faith. The event certainly gave me a boost, it was encouraging.
I found the songs, prayers, talks and stories uplifting, inspiring and often moving. Though very importantly I think the whole event was empowering. Throughout the day we heard about and saw examples of how the power of faith had changed peoples’ lives, from the personal sto-ries from the Olympic athletes to that of Abdi Dima and the CAFOD project through which he thrived. I left the day with a renewed sense of responsibility, but also strength and courage to live the change that the world needs; to make that individual contribution with the confidence that there are many many other young people doing the same. I guess the event sort of created that feeling of strength and power in numbers.’
Inspired by the 100 days truce that accompanied the ancient Olympics, CAFOD is encouraging its young supporters to take part in the Pass it on online initiative by uploading video clips and posting personal messages to all those in the world who are not living in peace in 2012. We’d like to give you the opportunity to take the CAFOD action: pass on peace. It will take less than 5 minutes to do.
CAFOD young leaders have already caught on camera Archbishop Vincent Nichols, Father Christopher Jamison, Olympic champion Jason Gardener, MBE. At the end of the campaign, the Pass it on peace messages will be sent to CAFOD partners in Uganda, Colombia, Rwanda, the Philippines and the UK.
Add your message today!