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.

 

 

Let’s Speak Out in Solidarity

Nicole Crosbourne, a CAFOD volunteer, provides information about an upcoming CAFOD event. 

Can you help us inspire others to change to world around us? This CAFOD Essentials Day on Saturday 9th September we will be holding a workshop all about campaigning, why it is so important and how you can help spread the word.

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A CAFOD Volunteer Getting Ready to Speak at Mass

Campaigning is crucial to our work at CAFOD as our campaign volunteers speak out in solidarity with the world’s poorest communities whilst publicizing the work we do. Whether you are interested in speaking out in mass about our campaigns, or just putting up posters within your local parish, you will be able to motivate others in your community to get involved.

By speaking out we can reflect our Catholic values and show compassion for our neighbours and care for our common home. Campaigning can be a means of putting our faith into action and inspire us to recognise the power we have in our daily lives over the decisions we make.

“I campaign as a tangible way of expressing my faith. Our parish priest is supportive and sees action just as important as fundraising.” Jim Quinn, CAFOD Campaigning Volunteer, Birmingham

Power to be

Our Latest Power To Be Campaign

Our campaigning tackles a vairety of issues within our worldwide community. Our latest ‘Power To Be’ campaign speaks out about the importance of sustainable energy access and stewardship. We are also campaigning about the refugee crisis, climate change and the causes of poverty – not just the symptoms. There’s something for everyone to get involved. By speaking out for justice within our communities we can support the work we do overseas beyond fundraising.

Get involed

CAFOD Campaiging Volunteers

As a CAFOD campaigning volunteer, you will be able to communicate  and act proactively to inform others about our latest news and resources. You can even campaign online through social media, blogs and comments on posts to reach larger audiences. Your words can inspire someone else to make a difference too. You will also be invited to upcoming events for training where you will get the chance to meet other volunteers from around England and Wales.

If you are interested in working to encourage others to act, book your place now at our Essentials Day next Saturday 9th September. We will be hosting other engaging workshops, reflections and a bring and share lunch. You can also contact us on southwark@cafod.org.uk or 02084 66 99 01 for more information.

Parishioners petition for ‘Power to be’ while enjoying a walk in nature

On the 5th of  August, St. John Fisher RC supported the world’s poor communities by signing petitions to the World Bank and local MPs while enjoying the day surrounded by nature. Sidney Magdaong, a media volunteer from the US, describes the day according to CAFOD volunteer, Tony Creed:

While spending the day enjoying God’s creation, the church group from St. John Fisher demonstrated their support for the campaign “Power to be“.

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Campaigners enjoying a scenic walk out in nature

The participants who joined in this event enjoyed a lovely day out on a picnic and nature walk. According to Tony, the walk included several scenic activities, including a ‘spot the ten varieties of trees’ competition, butterfly sightings (including the Jersey Tiger Moth), wild flowers galore, historic buildings, and a pub stop (to avoid the thunderstorm, that is).

In the midst of all the outdoor fun, supporters of the campaign signed a petition, asking local MPs David Evennett and James Brokenshire to support actions to limit climate change, which harshly impacts the developing world.

As a part of the “Power to be” campaign, they also signed a petition to the World Bank, asking them to grant loans to the one sixth of the world’s poorest people who do not have electricity; therefore, they have difficulty in participating in the same quality of life as other impoverished people who do possess this valuable resource. The campaign also calls for shifting the spending towards renewable energy in order to provide impoverished communities with a safer, more reliable source of energy.

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Participants strolling through a field of wheat

Sign our petition to the World Bank to provide the poor with more accessible energy

Although I personally wasn’t able to enjoy the day, reading about the campaigns these parishioners were supporting made me think more deeply about the issues of climate and its impact on impoverished people.  They are deeply interlinked and climate change is causing more damage in developing countries than it is in the development world.  Climate change has a strong, negative impact on poor communities, and thus it is important for Catholics and non-Catholics alike to lobby MPs and the Government by asking them to stand in solidarity with creation and our brothers and sisters overseas.

Many thanks to Tony Creed, the organizer for this event, who mentions that all who joined in this outing “had the most wonderful day.”