St John Fisher’s Dewsbury welcome Gapper Madeline after her Uganda trip

St John Fisher Catholic Secondary school in Dewsbury last week welcomed our Step into the Gap volunteer Madeline to their school for an all day visit.

The school’s Lay Chaplin Angela Eddie said “We were delighted to welcome CAFOD Gap student Madeleine Woods last week. Madeleine who is just back from Uganda led workshops on the theme of ‘Life Without Taps’ to year 7  and year 8 students. The students embraced the opportunity to experience the way of life for many living in a village with one tap through interactive games, followed with discussion and reflections.”

sophie at St John Fisher in Dewsbury faith day

Later in the day, Madeline spent time with the school’s dedicated ‘Faith In Action Team’ who embraced a tailored session around Madeleine’s experience in Uganda and the Faith in Action she witnessed.

Angela explained “The workshop was followed with presentation skills training to help the Faith in Action team to deliver Collective Worship to forms during Lent”

If you would like Madeline to come to your school, please get in touch leeds@cafod.org.uk or call (0113) 274 2772

Click here to download the Leader’s Guide for Life without Taps

If you would like to apply to become a Step into the Gap volunteer, click here to find out how you too could follow in Madeline’s footsteps and help to change the systems and structures that cause poverty

Uganda Trip for our Gapper: Bon Voyage Madeline

Our Gapper Madeline will be heading off to Uganda this weekend as part of her ‘Step into the Gap’ year of volunteering with CAFOD. Her placement is hosted 4 days per week by our partner Leeds Trinity University Chaplaincy and on a Friday, Madeline supports our schools and parish work across the Diocese of Leeds.

We asked Madeline, how she is feeling and what she is thinking about just before she sets off.

madeline before uganda trip coffee on the landing

The Chaplaincy team at LTU share a cuppa with Madeline before she departs to Uganda

“My main hope for my trip to Uganda is in what I can bring back to the UK. I will have a unique opportunity which will allow me to learn not just stories, but about the lives of those almost 6,000 miles away. I will then be able to share this snapshot of life with others when I return to the UK, hopefully encouraging people to continue their amazing support of CAFOD.

There is often a divide between prayer and service for a lot of Catholics, myself included. Prayer is one thing, which in my experience is usually quiet and often alone. Service is something entirely different, and focuses on relationships with people rather than a relationship with God. I feel that my time in Uganda will help to change this view. I will be seeing people live their faith, helping others as a service not just to humanity and the world, but also God. I am hoping to share this change in view, as I feel it is important that the connection is made between our relationships with others and our relationship with God.

“It is true that the primacy belongs to our relationship with God, but we cannot forget that the ultimate criterion on which our lives will be judged is what we have done for others.” Gaudete et Exsultate; Pope Francis 2018

 

When I return from Uganda, I am going to be running a workshop on this topic at Youth 2000 at Leeds Trinity University. In Uganda I will be able to see people truly living their faith, and really living the values set out in the Bible. I will be a living link between the communities in Uganda and those in the UK. I am taking messages of hope to Uganda from those in Leeds, both at schools and at the university. I hope to also bring messages back from those being supported by CAFOD overseas.

I do, of course, also have many hopes for the time I spend in Uganda. I hope to experience a culture hugely different to my own, meet some incredible people and truly get to know the work CAFOD and partners do.

If you would like to book Madeline for a talk or a workshop at your parish or school, please let us know leeds@cafod.org.uk or call (0113) 275 9302

For more information on our ‘Step into the Gap’ programme take a look here

Leeds Trinity Learns to Live Simply for All Saints Day

On all Saints Day at Leeds Trinity University Step into the Gap Volunteer Madeline Woods held a CAFOD stall to raise awareness on the environment and living simply. We asked Madeline what the event was all about.

  1. What was on the table? What props did you use?

“The fruit and vegetables I had on the table for people to identify were:

Papaya Celeriac Pomegranate Persimmon/Sharon Fruit (Purple) Carrot Onion Grapefruit Ginger Pumpkin Passion Fruit Radish Turnip/Swede Aubergine/Eggplant Pomelo and pepper

Also I had a CAFOD banner, posters and a donation box as well as leaflets about CAFOD for people to take. I provided a notebook on the table for people to jot down any ideas they have about how we as individuals, the university, the world! can be more green.”

  1. What did you invite people to do when they were at the table? Madeline explained
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CAFOD gapper Madeline quizzes staff and students on Live Simply

“I primarily asked people to take part in the vegetable quiz. I also asked people for any ideas of how we could be greener.”

  1. What was the reaction of the people who took part?

“People really enjoyed the vegetable quiz and gave me a lot of positive feedback. The weird looking vegetables enticed people in, and I could then speak to them about CAFOD and Live Simply.”

  1. What do you think will happen next from this action?

“Staff and students at the university, as well as people in the local community, now know who I am more, and know about CAFOD and the work we do. Students at the university will feel they have had a say in live simply, as it is the ideas they provided which will be the basis of the programme here.”

  1. How did you feel doing this action?

“I felt that the whole day was amazing, and being able to chat with people about CAFOD is always wonderful. I got to build relationships with so many people through just talking about vegetables, which is a sentence I never thought I’d say!”

  1. What would you say to encourage others to do this?

“I would really encourage students and parishes to take part as it is a really good thing to do.  What’s more the vegetables were kindly donated by Sarah Marston at Morrison’s in Horsforth, who is the Community Champion. This means that the event was free to run, raised awareness of CAFOD and meant that the winner got a huge amount of fruit and vegetables! Providing students with food, talking about an amazing charity and getting to talk about weird looking veg – what could be better? ”

  1. What will you be planning next?

Madeline said “Off the back of this stall, I intend to launch Live Simply here at the university. The students have given me some wonderful ideas for getting the university to be greener, and are already involved.”