Inspired by our Gapper’s trip to El Salvador

Bronagh Daly, Community Participation Coordinator at Leeds CAFOD reflects on an inspirational talk from Gap year volunteer Sophie Aulton.

“We gathered together for a talk and shared lunch today to hear all about Sophie’s trip to El Salvador with CAFOD earlier in the year as part of the ‘Step into the Gap’ programme.

el sal lunch sophie“I introduced Sophie to the audience, reflecting on how my faith has grown through Sophie being around. Her curiosity, enthusiasm, hard work and humility has impressed and inspired not only me, but everyone who has the pleasure of meeting Sophie.

“Our new office volunteer (who Sophie helped to recruit) led us in a prayer and Sophie began her talk.

“We were joined by parish and school volunteers, a volunteer area coordinator , a CAFOD Programme Manager and campaigns volunteers. It was another full house at the CAFOD volunteer centre, all interested to hear how CAFOD money, resources and skills are utilised in El Salvador. Sophie shared an informative, inspiring and fast paced overview of 6 projects she visited, how the work is developed with local community groups and tackling issues including gang violence, gender equality, finance, farming, livelihoods and nutrition.

sophie talk el salv“Sophie shared a humorous overview of her struggles with the language barrier and how playing with young children broke down an awkward moment whilst the interpreter was elsewhere. Sophie shared with us precious moments she encountered with families who CAFOD projects have helped over the last decade.

“We heard about Sophie’s time with bee keepers, micro entrepreneurs, cheese-makers and community loans custodians, all thankful for the support CAFOD has given their communities to grow and prosper. If ever you wanted to be inspired to campaign, pray and act for equality this was the presentation to be at.

“After questions and answers about the impact of the STIG programme and comments from our Bolivia Programme Manager, Nikki Evans about shared learning we carried on our conversations over a shared lunch.

shared lunch“We love having shared lunches here at CAFOD, I am always excited to see what people bring. A parish volunteer who had travelled to EL Salvador several years ago share food and insight from his trip. Our new office volunteers got a change to meet with a wide range of volunteers and all in all I finished my week at the volunteer centre feeling renewed. I feel so blessed to work for CAFOD and to help parishes and schools respond to the cry of the poor. I am always reminded of the generosity of CAFOD volunteers and supporters and on behalf of Sophie, I would like to thank you all for the donations you have made today to help her with her fundraising target of £500 for CAFODs work with the worlds poorest children and their families.

If you would like to know more about becoming a volunteer in your local parish or school, click here or contact us (0113) 275 9302 or leeds@cafod.org.uk

Perhaps Sophie has inspired you to think about volunteering for a year on the ‘Step into the Gap’ programme, if so please read further to find out how you could get involved.

27th April 11:30am El Salvador Share Lunch and Talk with our Gapper; Sophie Aulton

sophie in school with hearts el salvador

Come along to hear about Sophie’s recent visit to CAFOD Partners in El Salvador

I hope you have seen the date for Sophie’s shared lunch and talk, but if you haven’t, here it is again just in case you have a few free hours this Friday 27th April at 11:30am.

 

Sophie recently returned from El Salvador and Nicaragua, where she visited several CAFOD funded projects and discussed with our partners how donations, prayers and campaigning in our Parishes in the Diocese of Leeds and across England and Wales is making a big impact on the lives of some of the poorest children and their families.

We hope you can come along with a friend to hear about Sophie’s experience

This will be a shared lunch, so please bring along a small plate of something nice to share. We will provide soft drinks and tea and coffee. There will be a collection after the talk, to help Sophie with her target of £500 fundraising for CAFOD

Please let us know if you will be able to come along either by email or phone:  leeds@cafod.org.uk or (0113) 275 9302

Sophie Set for CAFOD El Salvador and Nicaragua Trip!

Step into the Gap volunteer Sophie Aulton has jetted off to El Salvador and Nicaragua as part of her CAFOD gap year! Read her thoughts below…

Sophie Aulton

Gap year volunteer, Sophie Aulton

Throughout Christmas I have been getting bits of things for the upcoming trip to El Salvador and Nicaragua. Mosquito repellent, light clothing, shampoo, shower gel, torches and chargers have been going round and round in my head since the CAFOD weekend in November to prepare us for the upcoming adventure. However it has become almost second nature to talk about the destinations on the visit, security precautions and vaccinations with those who ask, having given many presentations to school children about El Salvador and Nicaragua, and what I will be doing there. This has allowed me to become familiar with CAFOD’s work in the areas as well as knowledgeable about their political history.

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