Marianne’s World Youth Day 2013 Journey

Marianne and Christ the RedeemberIn July a group of young people from dioceses across England and Wales travelled with CAFOD to Brazil for World Youth Day. Marianne, from Greenwich, was part of the group and she visited us in the Southwark Office today to tell us all about her experience.

The group started their pilgrimage in São Paulo and visited some of the communities that CAFOD’s partners APOIO and MDF work with including meeting some families in one of Brazil’s largest favelas – Electropaulo. They then traveled on to Rio, where they joined in celebrations with thousands of other young people from around the world.

Marianne had a fantastic time and described the pilgrimage as an experience she would never forget. Marianne recorded a brilliant and moving video diary while she was there documenting her experience you can watch an installment from the begining of Marianne’s journey below:

Watch the rest of Marianne’s video diary here>>>

Flame 2012 & Pass It On

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.

CAFOD ambassadors Theo, Holly, Lara and Emet with Abdi in the centre [Photo: CAFOD]

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 peaceIt 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!


Take an adventure that will change you and those around you – your journey begins and ends in the UK, but takes you to one of the poorest countries in the world to meet amazing people and share their lives. You will then use those experiences when you return to lead young people to a better understanding of how their faith helps them take action for change.

CAFOD’s Gap Year Programme, Step Into The Gap, is a gap year opportunity with a real difference. Successful applicants will take part in a gap year which spans across UK and overseas placements, working with young people on aspects of faith, social justice, global issues and stewardship.

Previous countries we have worked in include Kenya, Ghana, and Liberia, and UK placements can be in either Youth Ministry’s (Just Youth, Salford, or YMT – Newcastle), or within schools chaplaincies in St. Mary’s Blackpool. The programme runs from September – July and training and support will be provided throughout the programme.

This fully funded programme is a great opportunity for those aged between 18-30 to explore their faith in an exciting new way, and to build lifelong connections across the globe. We are currently recruiting for opportunities starting in September 2012. Applications to the programme close April 30th 2012 – that’s the end of this month so, if you’re interested, please do get in touch!

To apply please check our website! And don’t forget to check out the Great Generation page to see how you can join the great generation of young people making the world a better place.