If you are finishing school and thinking about a gap year, CAFOD’s Step into the Gap programme could be for you. In this post, we hear from Nicole, who is currently completing a gap year with CAFOD and will going to Uganda in the new year.
CAFOD’s gap year: “Step into the Gap”
CAFOD believes in equipping and inspiring young adult leaders to be able to contribute to a more just and peaceful world. That’s why we offer opportunities for 18-30 year olds to gain experience, develop leadership skills and spend a year in the service of others as part of our gap year programme: Step into the Gap.
From speaking in schools and parishes to helping out partner organisations in developing countries, CAFOD’s gap year is a great opportunity for young Catholics to put their faith into act and helping the poorest and most marginalised. The programme allows our ‘gappers’ to inspire others to make a difference.
Applications for September 2019 are now open.
Meet CAFOD’s gappers: Nicole’s story
After volunteering at St Vincent’s Retreat Centre in 2017, Nicole joined CAFOD’s Step into the Gap programme in September. She will be travelling to Uganda in the new year to meet CAFOD’s partner organisations in the region and help CAFOD on the ground: “I’m very excited as it will be a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience CAFOD’s work,” she says.
Nicole’s gap year in now in full swing. Since the beginning of the programme, Nicole has spoken in different schools across Southwark, raised awareness about the plight of refugees and taken part in CAFOD’s Young Leaders’ Day.
She has also enjoyed speaking at her home parish on Family Fast Day in November and sharing her experience of CAFOD’s gap year.“It was so nice to see many familiar faces and witness the support they gave to CAFOD. It was lovely to be able to show them what I am doing and tell them about my trip to Uganda. That weekend was very exciting as I was also interviewed by BBC Radio Kent. This enabled me to speak about Family Fast Day, and my ‘gap year with a difference’.”
Taking a gap year with CAFOD, Nicole says, has allowed her to build essential life skills:“My experience so far has taught me so much. It has taught me about living in community with others, not just those I live with, but with our wider community across the country and the world. It has helped me to see what I can do in my everyday life to make other people’s lives a little bit easier. It is just a great way to put my faith into action and to help others do the same.”
Nicole has also enjoyed meeting other young Catholics and sharing her faith. “Spending time with other Catholics my age has been such a refreshing and eye-opening experience. Sharing this journey of faith has made this experience wonderful. I can’t wait to see what the rest of my year holds. I would definitely recommend a gap year with CAFOD to anyone. I think it is a great way to encounter Christ
Interested in CAFOD’s gap year opportunities? Find out more
If you are inspired by Nicole’s story and would like to hear more about CAFOD’s gap year, you will find more information via this link.
Are you an 18-30-year-old? Were you inspired by Nicole’s testimony? Explore CAFOD’s Gap Year opportunities here: https://cafod.org.uk/Education/CAFOD-Gap-year