CAFOD Essentials Day at a glance: Preparation with smiles

CAFOD Essentials Day, which occurred on Saturday 9th September, 2017, is a day dedicated to preparing CAFOD volunteers for the upcoming Harvest Fast Day and updating the volunteer community about campaigns and other activities. Sidney Magdaong, a CAFOD intern from the US, recounts his experience throughout the day:

Having volunteered for CAFOD for only a few weeks, there is a lot to learn about this vast organization brimming with opportunity for fellow volunteers. From campaigns and social media, to speaking training for Mass, Essentials equipped me with an extended amount of information about what CAFOD is currently working on and how I, and many other volunteers, can get involved.

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Opening speech about CAFOD’s work in Latin America at the commencement of Essentials Day

I spent Essentials Day working as the booth-runner for the Refugee Campaign and as the photographer. The refugee booth caught the attention of many volunteers, most of which had already heard about the campaign and have been at work to spread the message about supporting refugees in their own parishes and even schools. It surprised me at how passionate the volunteers were to advocate for the safety of refugees, which has become a serious crisis in recent years.

Take action to support refugees in your own community

As a photographer, I was able to hover around the various workshops and catch a glimpse of CAFOD’s key focuses. The workshop that most interested me was the training for speaking at Mass led by a professional coach. With Harvest Day approaching, confidence is important in spreading the message, and this workshop bolstered the skills needed to advocate. While in London, I plan on being a speaker for Mass, and the training provided everything from speaking speed to powerful presentation, something that is central to advocating the importance of Fast Day.

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Speaking coach training volunteers on how to effectively deliver the Fast Day message at Mass

Mass training was well in conjunction with the workshop on El Salvador, the focus for CAFOD. This workshop easily received the most amount of attendees, all intent on listening to the struggles of El Salvadorian farmers and youth. 

Get involved with this year’s Harvest Day and support El Salvador

With all the exciting activities happening, Essentials Day was also the perfect opportunity to meet fellow CAFOD volunteers. I ran a photo booth, taking pictures of several volunteers sporting CAFOD gear and props to show their appreciation and commitment for CAFOD’s mission and values.

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One of our volunteers posing for the CAFOD photo booth

The smiles they gave were more than enough to tell me how happy they were to work towards building a better community through CAFOD, a common theme I’ve seen throughout my few weeks as an intern. At the end of the day, that smile was present on my face as I watched several volunteers receive certificates for volunteering for 1, 5, 10, 15, and even 20+ years at CAFOD. This dedication and happiness to serve is something I want to work towards while interning at CAFOD, and Essentials Day was, essentially, exactly what I needed to reach that goal.

 

 

Running Your Own Fast Day

Nicole Crosbourne, a CAFOD volunteer, provides information and advertises for an upcoming CAFOD event. 

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A Community in El Salvador

This year’s Harvest Fast Day is less than six weeks away. As we are celebrating 100 years since the birth of Blessed Oscar Romero, it seemed appropriate to have our Harvest Fast Day focused on San Salvador, where he was a guiding light to many poor communities.

There is still time to book your place at one of our Harvest Fast Day Briefings this September, including one at Romero House during our CAFOD Essentials Day on Saturday 9th September. We will provide you with all the resources you need and everything you need to know about our goal to focus on improving agriculture and healthcare, reducing risks of disasters, and creating peace.

 

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Harvest Fast Day 2016 at the Holy Family parish, Maidstone

At each of our briefings you will get the chance to hear about people such as Endelmira, a farmer living with land which is hard to cultivate. Together, we can make a difference in El Salvador and in the words of Blessed Oscar Romero, we can ‘plant the seeds which one day will grow.’

We have plenty of resources online relating to this year’s Harvest Fast Day appeal in El Salvador, including posters, prayer cards and short talks you can deliver if you are interested in speaking at mass. You can also find some briefing notes, and a plan for a liturgy you could run for the children in your parish.

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Harvest Fast Day 2016 at St. Peter’s School, Greenwich

If you are interested in running your own Fast Day within your parish, come to our workshop on CAFOD Essentials Day at Romero House, 55 Westminster Bridge Road, SE1 7JB. We will give you advice, ideas and information to get you started. During the day there will be a wide range of workshops and reflections all related to CAFOD and how to get involved in the work we do. Not to mention, a bring and share lunch and the chance to meet new people.

Book your place at for our Essentials Day next Saturday 9th September to find out more about life in El Salvador, Harvest Fast Day and how your parish can get involved. You can also contact us on southwark@cafod.org.uk or 02084 66 99 01 for more information.

Raise Your Voice and Speak Up For CAFOD!

Sarah, a CAFOD Media Volunteer, provides information about an upcoming CAFOD event. 

Are you looking to inspire others and motivate them by speaking up for CAFOD? Then you are in luck as your chance to attend a Speaking at Mass training session.

Join us on Saturday 9 September, for our Essentials Day, where you will be able to take

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Professional coach training

part in our Speaking at Mass training session as well as other sessions we have on offer. The event will start at 9:30 if you would like to join us for refreshments or 10:00 when the event will begin, lasting until 3:15. The event will take place in Romero House, 55 Westminster Bridge Rd, London SE1 7JB. Please feel free to bring your family and friends, with a bring and share lunch!

Speaking at Mass is the best way for all your parishioners to hear how their continuous support is improving the lives of their brothers and sisters across the globe. This year you will gain top tips about how lending your voice will encourage other parishioners to follow in your footsteps and speak up for CAFOD.

By Speaking at Mass, you will be informing your fellow parishioners about CAFOD partners and how they are supporting those who are living in poor communities by tackling poverty and injustice.

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Volunteers at a Speaking at Mass training

Not only do these talks provide with essentials skills which can be used in your everyday life, but they raise awareness of CAFOD’s work, in which also motivates and inspires others to get involved as volunteers. In doing so, CAFOD will get the support it needs to continue to spread the message and provide for others who live in some of the world’s poorest communities.

Do not worry if you are not a regular speaker, you do not even have to be a speaker at all! Just come along and listen in to the tips provided. You never know, maybe the talk can encourage you sign up to become a Speaker at Mass.

Book your place by:

Visiting Eventbrite 

Emailing: southwark@cafod.org.uk

Calling: 02084 66 99 01

Don’t miss this fantastic opportunity!