Our volunteers are excited to be part of the Gap Year 2018

CAFOD’s gap year programme

Step into the Gap, CAFOD’s gap year programme 2018

We have a talented group of volunteers who are happy to depart for their overseas trips to either Sierra Leona or Nicaragua and El Salvador. They shared some words about the Gap trip and they told us about their feelings.

Applications are now open for Step into the Gap 2018. Apply now

Kayleigh, Christopher, Siobhan and Hannah are travelling to Sierra Leone

Kayleigh. She is on placement at The Briars youth residential centre in Nottingham diocese.

“I cannot contain my gratitude and excitement and I truly acknowledge that this programme is a once in a lifetime.”

Christopher. He is on placement at Walsingham House in Brentwood

“With merely days to go, I am filled with anticipation, excitement, wonder while also filled with slight apprehension. How will people react to my presence there? Will it live up to expectations? Most of all though, how will I communicate the stories of those I meet with people upon my arrival back home?  I ask you to pray for not only for me but also all of the other gappers. May we be safe and gain inspiration from all those we encounter.

Siobhan. She is on placement at Newman University in Birmingham

Siobhan wrote in her blog : “Although we may see some things or hear some stories that are difficult, I am looking forward to seeing the progress that has been made and the resilience of the communities.”

Hannah. She is on placement with the Youth Ministry Team in Hexham and Newcastle. “In order to prepare the trip, we have been learning more about social justice, sustainable development and the culture especially linked to Sierra Leona”.

Ciara, Aleks, Isabel and Sophie are travelling to Nicaragua and El Salvador

Ciara from The Briars youth residential centre in Nottingham diocese told us: “I am particularly excited to be working with partners who work on issues of gender equality”. She also said: “We are embarking on a trip that is going to have its challenges, but that overall will fill us with a renewed hope and dedication to the work we are carrying out this year.”

Aleks is on placement at St Mary’s Academy in Blackpool, she said: “I can’t wait to experience it all” and “meeting people we pray for” […].

Isabel volunteer at St Cassian’s youth retreat centre in Portsmouth diocese told to our team: “I cannot wait to meet so many different people and listen to their thoughts and stories around their lives and experiences.”

Sophie from Leeds Trinity University shared: “I am certain will be one of the most memorable things I will do.”

Applications are open for a September 2018 start – the deadline is 19th February 2018.



News: A volunteer shares her thoughts about Fast Day

Chinyama community

Marion with her new baby girl

Respond to malnutrition in Zimbabwe this Lent with Family Fast Day

Marjorie Henrie who lives in the diocese of Southwark is one of our office volunteers. She’s shared with us what she has discovered about malnutrition from the CAFOD Lent Fast Day briefing.

‘I was choked to hear that across the world, malnutrition still kills almost three million children every year! I had absolutely no idea about this. It is so sad to hear that for children who survive malnutrition, the effects can be long-lasting. Lack of the right food can stunt growth and even if children have a good diet in later life, the effects of early malnutrition remain, for example many undernourished children never reach their full height potential.

It was fascinating to hear that in Zimbabwe the collapse of the economy, combined with climate change has led to the country struggling to produce enough food for everyone to eat. It is so sad to know that in Zimbabwe, one in four children under five have stunted growth from not getting enough decent food.

It’s very exciting to learn that CAFOD’s response means we can do something about it. I was touched by Marian’s story. To know that Tawanda was so hungry he’d sit in the same place all day is terrible. To know that Marian’s youngest son, Svondo, is healthy and growing well because CAFOD’s partners supported Marian by giving her vegetable seeds, nutrition and farming training inspires me to participate in the Lent Family Fast Day in my parish.

The UK-AID matching up all donations to 5 million means that all our efforts can be doubled… how moving.’

If you want to hear more about Zimbabwe and CAFOD’s response:

  1. Join your local Family Fast Day briefing
  2. Read our resources online
  3. Watch our movie for more information

    Chinyama community

    Support the people  of Zimbabwe this Family Fast Day