In solidarity with people who flee their homes due to conflict and humanitarian disasters, CAFOD and the Catholic Church have been conducting a Share the Walk Campaign whose aim is to raise awareness of the plight of refugees throughout the World. In support of this initiative on the 10th of June 2018 at 11am Paddy Spiller and Maria Beckwith from Our Lady and St Joseph, Aire Valley joined with members from their parish and took part in the Share the Journey Walk.
The walk started from the Bingley Fire Station, then via 3 Rise Locks and along the canal bank to Roberts Park, Saltaire. They shared a picnic together around the bandstand at about 1pm. The walk was about 4.5 miles and was supported by resources provided by CAFOD including a user guide as well as a organisers guide and a fact sheet.
Parishioners walk in solidarity with refugees
Parishioner Paddy Spiller organised the walk along with members of the Third World Interest Group (TWIG) said “Everyone who attended enjoyed the walk, it helped us all to think more deeply about refugees and their journey to safety. It also helped to increase our awareness about the refugee crisis. The walk was a success, the weather was great and we said as a group we would like to do something like this again. I would encourage other parishes to take part in the ‘Share the Journey’ walk, the resources are easy to use, the stories helped to put the crisis into context.
Office Volunteers Rachael Chapman and Nhlanhla Moyo are helping parishes across the Diocese of Leeds to take part in the ‘Share the Journey’ action, if you would like to organise a walk in your parish, please contact us on 0113 275 9302 or email@example.com
Holy Family Carlton year 8 pupils have recently put their faith into action and took part in the ‘Share the journey’ campaign. The students from Carlton, Selby learned a lot about the refugee crisis during the walk, and reflected on how they would feel if they were walking in the shoes of those fleeing danger, persecution, famine and unknown hardships.
Year 8 students from Holy Family, Carlton walk in solidarity with refugees
Sara Lambert, Lay Chaplain at Holy Family Catholic High School in Carlton, said “We went to Goathland and Whitby and we walked 12 miles together. There was 25 of us so in total we walked 300 miles! The pupils loved taking part.”
The students from Year 8 had an opportunity to learn more about the plight of their global brothers and sisters who need our support to call on Government leaders to support those seeking refuge. One year 8 student said “I don’t know how refugees do what they do as I found the walk itself hard for me!”
If your school would like to follow in the footsteps of this amazing group of Year 8 students, click this link to download your Organiser’s Guide and also, you can find all the resources you need for your walk here. Don’t forget to add your total miles to the totaliser and send us your pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can share on social media and inspire more schools to follow in your footsteps!!!
Nhlanhla tells us about his experience of being a volunteer with the CAFOD in Leeds team
“When I moved to the United Kingdom in September 2017 to pursue my masters course at the University of Leeds I was hoping to do some voluntary work with local charities to gain exposure to international development work. I was excited to come across CAFOD as I had worked on as a Lobby and Advocacy officer for a local NGO (Masakhaneni Trust) in Zimbabwe which was implementing various livelihood projects funded by CAFOD in the rural community of Enyandeni, in Gwanda District (Matabeleland South).
Nhlanhla meets the CAFOD Leeds team of parish and schools volunteers.
“Through the CAFOD project, Masakhaneni Trust was able to mobilise the community to construct a dam and set up four community gardens where women and youth planted vegetables which not only alleviated poverty but generated income for women who were the head of their families and the unemployed youth. Having worked closely with CAFOD staff in Zimbabwe and implemented several projects in Africa with the organisation, it was easier for me to identify with CAFOD.
Nhlanhla (second from left) at the Zimbabwe Talk, Feb 2018.
When I came to an international talk, from Livison Chipatiso (Programme Manager for CAFOD in Zimbabwe) I inquired about voluntary work I met very friendly members of staff (Bronagh and Joanne) who were also excited to meet someone who had been on the ground implementing various projects.
“Since becoming an office volunteer at CAFOD I have been assisting with office administration work such as making phone calls to volunteers, sending out letters to parishes, sending emails to partners who make generous donations and attending CAFOD functions. Being part of the CAFOD team has deepened my understanding of international development work and I have also acquired skills in communication and social media campaigning.
If you would like to know more about becoming an office volunteer with CAFOD in Leeds, please get in touch with us (0113) 275 9302 or email@example.com
To apply to become an office volunteer, please sign up here and we will provide you with training and expenses. By volunteering with us, you will have the opportunity to put your Catholic faith into practice and help us to support parishes and schools across the Diocese of Leeds to respond to the cry of the poor.