Greetings from your new CAFOD Community Participation Coordinator for East Anglia. I’m an ex primary school teacher and past schools volunteer for CAFOD in Brentwood diocese. My family moved to Clare in Suffolk in February 2017 and we attend Mass at Clare Priory. I’m really looking forward to my new role and would like to thank Stephen Mathews for all the kind and patient help he is giving me during August. The next few months should be very exciting as I get to our wonderful band of volunteers in the diocese. Thank you all for all the wonderful work you do
Can you imagine having a rainy gloomy school day in Ipswich where students have to attend classes in the dark and then go to a home where the only source of light available makes you cough?
It is quite a grim reality to have to live with but surprisingly enough in 2017, 1.2 billion people in the world still do not have access to electricity of which 291 million are school children. Veronica, who was one of these school children, today is able to see the light at the end of the tunnel all thanks to CAFOD and its Campaign Power to be.
An aspiring student from Kenya, Veronica’s wish to become a politician is more approachable today than it was a couple of years ago. Before CAFOD came into the picture, Veronica was unable to continue working on her education as she only had a paraffin lamp to light up her homework and studies when she arrived home. The paraffin smoke was becoming a health hazard as she started having respiratory problems. With CAFOD’s help, Veronica was given the opportunity to continue with her studies in a healthy environment.
CAFOD was able to fit in solar panels at her school to help light their classroom during the darkest of days. Today she is able to take with her to school her new solar lamp to charge during the day. She then uses the solar lamp at home while she catches up on some extra late night reading, which brings her closer to her dream day by day.
This week, 200 Year 10 students at St. Alban’s High School in Ipswich were introduced to people and realities similar to Veronica’s. Our CAFOD volunteers Mike and Kevin worked with the students to collect messages and ideas to bring forward to politicians to make them aware of the benefits of using sustainable and affordable energy.
Students were able to see how organisations such as CAFOD are able to help millions of people around the world reach their potentials and maybe even provide them with the Power to be tomorrow’s politicians.
Helen has kept our presence in the primary schools around Norwich almost single-handedly, while working part time and looking after her family. She is one of those rare people who are close enough to God that the light of Christ shines through. Yet with humour and humility she apologises that she can’t do more for CAFOD.
Helen with her family
She led summer camp workshops for a wide age-range of young people at the cathedral, introducing them to Laudato Si’, and has taken year-6 students on the refugee pilgrimage – responding at short notice when the Lampedusa Cross arrived – an activity she describes as: “very powerful – the whole afternoon served as a great reminder to me why I do all this!”.
Helen eloquently described why she volunteers for CAFOD – something she’s now been doing for eight years!
“For me CAFOD brings back so many memories, its very nostalgic; Lent Fast Days and the Harvest period was always a huge part of growing up, and for my family. I have always been passionate about global justice and wanted to do a small part to assist the alleviation and suffering of poverty. Continue reading