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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Oscar Romero: A man of hope

CAFOD blog

Kate Eastmond is currently on the CAFOD Step into the Gap programme. She is based with Just Youth in Salford and recently visited CAFOD partners in Nicaragua. Since returning she has been to a local school to talk to children about Oscar Romero.

Kate in Nicaragua Kate in Nicaragua

As 23 May approaches with the beatification of Oscar Romero, I can’t help but reflect on one of my favourite quotes by him: “If they kill me, I shall rise again in the Salvadorian people.” This quote stays with me as I know that this is indeed true.

Find our Archbishop Oscar Romero resources

Back in late January of this year, I visited Nicaragua to meet CAFOD partners working there and what struck me is the fact that this remarkable man has had an impact on so many in the whole of Central America and across the world. He lived his life through words…

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Schools in Yorkshire say its not ok for the world cup to be played at the expense of the poor

This week Catholic high schools in Yorkshire have been focussing on the poor communities who are out of the media spotlight in Brazil. CAFOD Volunteers have been travelling to meet young people who are keen to know more and take action.

On Monday Ben visited Notre Dame Catholic Sixth Form College as a guest speaker as part of their Mission Week. The students debated whether or not football is a force for good in the world and concluded that in “can be”. They also considered some different ways they could take action to support people living in poverty around the world such as running the Leeds 10k for CAFOD or applying for Step Into The Gap.

Ben talking to some of the students as part of Notre Dame's mission week.

Ben talking to some of the students as part of Notre Dame’s mission week.

Students from year 8 at St Mary’s, Menston, were keen to find out about CAFOD’s work in Brazil and issues surrounding the World Cup as part of their Respect week. The students were interested to know more about the work of CAFOD and our partners in Brazil and took part in the World cup activities. One activity looked at wages of various people involved in the sports industry from Professional footballers both in the UK and Kenya to the people who make the football and boots.   Some of the students were surprised to find out about the huge gap in the wage and were especially surprised to find out that the maker of a fairtrade football was paid double to that of someone who stitched a normal ball. The find out more and to run similar activities have a look on our world cup resources page.

The students also took part in CAFOD’s new climate campaign action #fortheloveof. The students spent time thinking about the things that they love and how they will be affected by climate change. One student wrote Chocolate because if the climate changes cocoa bean wouldn’t be able to grow and we wouldn’t have chocolate. Another wrote Dolphins – as “they are such sweet animals and could be affected because of the water getting hotter”.

Thanks to Paddy and Clare for running a fantastic day.

(Photos to follow)

On Tuesday our volunteers Clare and David ran an assembly at St John Fishers Catholic High School in Harrogate for the Year 9’s as part of their off timetable day focussing on CAFOD’s work and social justice issues. The students were shocked to hear that over 18,000 families, roughly the population of Harrogate, were displaced to make way for the stadium in Sau Paulo. Clare and David had all of the 200 students and staff participating in their World Cup Quiz and debate.

If you are interested in becoming a schools volunteers to help us support the schools in the diocese of Leeds or would like to arrange for a volunteer to visit your school please contact the CAFOD Leeds office on 0113 275 9302 or email