Sophie our Gapper gets some help in preparing for her El Salvador visit

Sophie looking at El Salvador Pic from 2005

Sophie looking through old photos from 2013 when Fidel and Julia from El Salvador visited Leeds Parishes

“You will be amazed at the generosity of the local communities you meet. The poverty and inequality you will encounter might be hard to experience, but that is the reality you will face. It can be challenging and humbling all at the same time. Most of all you will be inspired by the families and the communities you will meet” That was the advice a parishioner and CAFOD supporter, Joe Burns gave to our Gap Year volunteer Sophie as she embarks on her overseas trip to El Salvador. Joe welcomed visitors Fidel and Julia from El Salvador to parishes in Leeds in March 2013 along with Kathy Webb from the Parish of Our Lady of Kirkstall, and later that year Joe then travelled with the Romero Trust and visited El Salvador in November 2013.

 

El Salvador Prep Sophie Joe and KathyKathy said, ” We look forward to hearing how Sophie’s trip goes. It was wonderful to meet our visitors from El Salvador when they came to our parish a few years back. It is lovely looking back through the old photographs as Sophie is preparing for her trip. We raise funds in our local church through the Connect2 El Salvador Scheme. We will make sure Sophie brings letters from our Children’s liturgy group to share with families when she arrives. It is important to let these families know they are in our prayers every week and we stand in solidarity with them as they strive to grow their own crops and lift themselves out of poverty.”

Sophie has also been encouraged by local school children who have also been learning about El Salvador and how climate change is effecting the livelihoods of farmers and communities. On a recent school visit, Sophie helped students at Roecliff Primary School to make Green Hearts and learn about Climate Change, and what they can do to challenge others to care for our common home.

Roecliffe students green hearts

Students from Roecliffe Primary School, nr Boroughbridge, North Yorkshire.

“I was really impressed how much the children knew about CAFOD already and the good work our charity partners are doing in sustainable development in the Global South. It is always a pleasure to visit a school and share with children all about my gap year with CAFOD. The teachers and students are keen to know how my trip goes, so I will be thinking about them when I meet with children and their families when I am in El Salvador” Sophie added “I cant wait to tell the partners and families that I meet in El Salvador, that so many school children from the Diocese of Leeds include them in their prayers”

Roecliff Primary SchoolIf you would like Sophie to come to your school or church community to share her experiences of her trip to El Salvador, please get in touch leeds@cafod.org.uk

Sophie will be speaking at Mass and in schools in March and April.

Sophie is based at Leeds Trinity University Chaplaincy 4 days per week and 1 day in the CAFOD volunteer Centre. Sophie actively encourages students at the university to pray, campaign and give as they put their faith into practice by answering the cry of the poor.

Keep an eye out for Sophie’s updates on our CAFODLeeds Facebook Page and Twitter feed.

1st-9th July WEEK OF ACTION

Nikki Evans, CAFODs Bolivia Officer joined volunteers at the CAFOD Leeds Volunteer Centre, who were taking part in CAFODs ‘Power to Be’ campaign action. Volunteers at the centre included Patrick Chabviaka, Ciara Mc Veigh and Sophie Aulton who all signed their petition to ask Melanie Robinson, the UK’s representative at the World Bank, to shift the balance to support renewable energy which tackles poverty, so everyone can have the chance to fulfil their God-given potential.

power to be outside the office nikki and vols

Nikki said “It is great to meet volunteers who care passionately about the Power to Be campaign and who have united to help poorer countries like Bolivia to tackle climate change and develop their energy services in a way that does not lock them in to using outdated, polluting fossil fuels.”

Patrick Chabviaka is a campaign volunteer for CAFOD and has been supporting parishes from across the Diocese of Leeds to get involved with the campaign, “We asked people in the parishes to take part in a card signing and the response has been great so far, but we need many more people to take action. We have cards waiting to be sent to your parishes, just get online and order your petition cards and let us know when and where you are using them. We are also asking all our CAFOD campaigners to get in touch with their local MP and ask them to write to the Prime Minister to make sure they work with international allies to fully implement the Paris Agreement and ensure all government departments work together to meet the Climate Change Act targets”

cards ptbAll across the Diocese of Leeds this weekend, there will be card signings, MP briefings and meet ups. Would you and your fellow parishioners like to take part?

Primary and secondary schools are getting involved too by organising ‘Power to Be’ workshops and  liturgies, the resources are all here to download and order.

During the Week of Action 1st July – 9th July 2017, there will be numerous campaign activities for you to get involved in. If you would like to attend or set up a ‘Power to Be’ activity during the week of action, please have a look here.

We would love to receive your photos and emails letting us know how you are supporting the ‘Power to Be’ campaign. Don’t forget to use the @CAFODLeeds on Twitter and include #SpeakUp #PowerToBe in your tweets.

Don’t forget to share your photos, stories and videos with us on Facebook or email us leeds@cafod.org.uk so we can inspire many more people to get involved.

4th May 2017: ‘Vivir bien’ – working with communities to shape development in Bolivia

LTU Bolivia TalkNikki Evans has worked as CAFOD’s Bolivia Programme Officer for over four and half years. A large part of her time with CAFOD has been spent living in La Paz working alongside communities and local Bolivian organisations.

She will be sharing experiences about the Andean concept of “vivir bien”, which is roughly translated as “living well”, and how organisations work with communities to ensure that they are shaping their own development in line with their own understanding of what that means.

This lecture is a free event hosted by Leeds Trinity University. BOOK HERE

NIkki in Bolivia

Nikki has also worked as international observer protecting human rights defenders in Colombia and for other international human rights organisations based in the UK. Before arriving in Bolivia completed an MA at the Peace Studies Centre in Bradford University.

Book your place on the CAFOD Annual Lecture at Leeds Trinity University today using this link: book my place

For more information contact the CAFOD Leeds Volunteer Centre on 0113 275 930 or email leeds@cafod.org.uk