A fantastic turn out at the South East Regional Harvest briefing!

CAFOD Westminster Blog

It was such a pleasure to welcome nearly a hundred volunteers and supporters to our online meeting from the dioceses of Brentwood, Westminster, Portsmouth, Southwark, East Anglia and Arundel and Brighton on Saturday 4 September.

The meeting included a powerful talk given by Clare Dixon, (CAFOD’s Head of Latin America and the Caribbean programmes) about Brazil and the impact of climate change. Clare has headed these programmes for over forty years and has a wealth of knowledge and experience. She has been the Secretary of the Archbishop Romero Trust since 2005 and in 2020, was awarded the José Simeón Cañas Medal for Extraordinary Merit by the UCA – Central American University in recognition of her commitment and work in support of the people, the Church and the Society of Jesus in El Salvador and Central America.

South East Regional Harvest briefing

The morning started with a welcome by…

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Helping CAFOD achieve their goals.

Xavier, 17, Office Volunteer

Hello everyone, my name is Xavier, and I am currently an office volunteer for CAFOD. I am in sixth form, and I am studying Biology, Chemistry and Math. I am interested in a wide variety of things and like learning new things about any topic if it is interesting. I enjoy reading books (mainly mystery and fantasy), swimming and playing video games with my friends.

If you are also interested in volunteering for CAFOD you can find out how to here.

I first stumbled upon CAFOD whilst researching three charities for a school assignment. Out of all three charities, CAFOD was the one that interested me the most. CAFOD initially grabbed my attention because of how they used their link to the Catholic Church to enable them to help 100+ countries. They further ensure that they help people regardless of their opinion of Christianity.

CAFOD’s stance on climate change was also intriguing as they recognize how our excessive usage of fossil fuels is affecting the communities that are the least to blame. Climate change has always been something I feel strongly about because it will affect my generation the most. Images like the one below remind me of the little amount of time we have left to do something before we cause irreversible damage to the environment.

The image on the left shows damaged houses on a coastal community, after Typhoon Haiyan hit Iloilo Province. The damage caused by the typhoon was estimated to be $5.8 billion. Photo Credit- [REUTERS/Raul Banias]

The image on the right shows a secondary school used as an emergency shelter for 300 people in the village of Inhamizua and how it was damaged by Cyclone Idai. Many storm victims recounted stories of losing everything they owned. Photo credit  – Josh Estey/ CARE/ CAFOD

I have joined CAFOD as a volunteer so I can help them in any way possible. I believe what CAFOD is trying to accomplish is amazing; if I can help them get closer to achieving a sustainable development goal in any way during my time volunteering, I will be content.

You can find more information about sustainable development goals here

My First Day Volunteering At CAFOD in Southwark!

Coco is a young office volunteer who has kindly given her time this summer to volunteer with us. Here she shares with us her interests and passions, what inspired her to volunteer and her experience of her first day with CAFOD.

Young girl sitting on a bus with brown hair and earphones in wearing butterfly necklace and grey t shirt
A picture of me 🙂

Hello everyone!! My name is Coco, and I am a new Office volunteer at CAFOD! I am 15 years old, and I am going into year 11 this September! I do a wide range of subjects, which are Food Tech, Spanish, Health and Social care, RE, History and the well-known basics, Maths, English and Science. My hobbies and interests are cooking and baking, running and exercising/sports, and also studying a lot since my GCSE’s are coming up.

Are you interested in volunteering with CAFOD? Click here for more information!!

Are you interested in doing the role I am doing which is an office volunteer? Click here for more information/to sign up!

Picture of an historian and it is old and ancient
History 🙂

My favourite subjects (From my GCSE options) are History because we can learn how past societies, systems, ideologies, governments, cultures, and technologies were built, how they operated, and how they have changed, and how past historic events have impacted us and overall see how far we have come! History is also very good for keeping up with the current affairs since in my lessons my history teacher links things from the past and how much it has changed/impacted the future!

Picture of an area in Spain
A place in Spain 🙂

My other favourite subject is Spanish because I believe that when you learn a new language, it opens a whole new world of experiences! And I honestly love learning new languages because learning a new language can have such positive effects on you such as it can help boost your confidence and can help you learn and deepen your connections to other cultures! But I love Spanish because even though I am not the best at it, whilst i’m making mistakes I am also learning something new about a culture on the way also Spanish is quite an important language as it is the 4th most spoken language in the world! and it can help with travelling and working abroad!

A picture of circuits and stopwatches related to physics
Physics 🙂

My last/most favourite subject is Physics! Because when I grow up I either would want to be a nurse like my mum or a Woman in the STEM as there is barely any Women that work in the STEM field (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) and statistics show that only 30% of women work in STEM and I would love to be able to raise that number even by the slightest bit, I began liking Physics since it developed my problem-solving skills and because I learned that it helps us learn about the world around us and how everything moves the way it moves.

Young child in primary school uniform smiling with brown hair wearing grey zip up
A picture of me in primary school 🙂

I found out about CAFOD through my primary school since they visited a few times and ever since I was young, I always admired how CAFOD was so creative yet so helpful and generous for example when they gave my primary school the money boxes and they made me so excited to collect money because I was so fascinated by the pyramid shape whilst I also knew that I was helping others made me so inspired to collect money, and also how enthusiastic the CAFOD workers were showed me from a young age how helpful and amazing the charity truly is! I began volunteering this summer for CAFOD for many reasons, but the main ones are because I love making new friends and I am said to be an extroverted person, so I am excited to meet new people and work in a team, and especially make a difference to the lives of others since CAFOD has made such a difference in so many people’s lives all around the world, I would love to do the same and be apart of it! Also, since I have a lot of free time this summer, I would love to spend some quality time off my phone and do something worth it whilst I also develop my skills and knowledge and have some experience on how it is to work in an workplace, another reason is to give back to my community and get to know my local community, and overall make a difference whether how small or big it is.

Young girl in primary school with brown hair holding a joyful sign wearing a green school uniform
A picture of me in primary school 🙂

Are you interested in CAFOD’s Primary School Resources? Click here for more information!

Are you interested in volunteering with CAFOD in schools? Click here for more information/to sign up!

On my first day in CAFOD, everyone was so kind and welcoming! I got a tour of the whole building, and I learned many facts! Especially how the building is so eco-friendly and uses the most out of its resources! The environment was so welcoming, and everyone looked like they were working very hard! I learned a lot today about how to be a Social Media volunteer and learned a lot about CAFOD’s past and history since they showed me a very interesting and educational induction video! The first day assured me that volunteering for CAFOD was one of the best choices I have made!

Hopefully, I will soon take part in fundraisers and make new friends in the CAFOD Southwark Diocese, and I am planning to stay in CAFOD for a while as its a charity that stands for what I stand for. I cant wait to go back into the office again during my half terms and holidays and help out! Since ever since I started volunteering I’ve been way more positive and optimistic as I knew that what I was doing was helping people no matter how small the role or what I had to do was, I hope during my time in CAFOD I hope to learn a lot and gain new skills and have a lot of fun whilst helping others!

Thanks for reading my blog and I hope you enjoyed it!! 😁✌