Hello, my name is Kieran Tildesley and I am on placement at CAFOD for 1 week as part of my psychology degree course at Leeds Trinity University.
I chose to work with CAFOD because the work they are doing was making a real difference in people’s lives. CAFOD’s work within communities such as Syria and Central African Republic which allowed me an opportunity to investigate the effects that providing the people a chance to better their own life can have.
A story I researched on the CAFOD website told me of how excited a woman from a small village was after being provided with the resources to build a well from which her village could get fresh water. This suggested to me that even the smallest and simplest of things that we would take for granted such as fresh clean water can completely change a person’s life.
CAFOD’s work in South Sudan has recently led them into joining a coalition with Muslim charities in order to help the people that are in need of provisions throughout the country. This is of interest to me because it shows that even though people and religion can have differences, they can still come together to work towards a common goal, demonstrating a message of togetherness.
For CAFOD to be able to maintain their good work in the future, they need to be able to connect with young people and get them involved.
One of the ways in which CAFOD could help to engage young adults in their work is by changing young people’s opinions and views about topics and issues. For many young people the issues surrounding politics and helping others is disinteresting. However, through sponsored events it can be possible to bring the issues to the attention of young people around the people doing the sponsored event. This can encourage young people to get involved in the work of CAFOD as they will be more sympathetic towards a cause if they have friends or family who feel strongly about it and are taking action.
Another way to can engage young people is through online campaigning or petitions. For me, signing online petitions was easier and gave me a sense of accomplishment when the petition passed the 10,000 signatures mark to be debated in the houses of parliament. Furthermore this is more likely to get information about a cause out there as these people may share it with their friends and family.