Madeline looks back on her Gap year with CAFOD

We’re now in the last month of my year on CAFOD’s Step into the Gap Programme, and what a year it’s been! From school visits to vegetable quizzes, prayer breakfasts in Leeds to sitting around a fire in Moroto, Uganda, not many can claim that their last year has been so varied!

Madeline Woods with Nicole, Clementina in Uganda

Nicole, Clementina and myself. Clementina is a midwife in a health centre which is supported by CAFOD in Moroto, Uganda. She gives everything she can to her community without a second thought, including ripping up her own bedsheets to make baby blankets!

I have had so many opportunities this year that I never would have had otherwise. My trip to Uganda is the obvious big one, and the things I saw, experienced and learned on that trip will undoubtedly stay with me for the rest of my life. I have been on BBC Radio Leeds 3 times, something which this time last year would have been unimaginable. I have stood in front of a room of 180 Year 7s and spoken about CAFOD without so much as a quiver in my voice, which again, a year ago, would have had me a nervous wreck. I’ve met so many incredible people through CAFOD and through my placement at Leeds Trinity University, and am certain that I have made friends for life. My office at my placement is right next to a beautiful Chapel, too, meaning that whenever I fancy, I can pop in and take some time to sit in the quiet. My faith has developed so much from this, from having conversations with the Chaplaincy team and experiencing retreat opportunities like Youth 2000, and I am going to be leaving this role a more well-rounded and confident person.

Madeline Woods with LTU hannah and Sisters thumbs up and recycle coffee cups

Myself, Hannah (the Chaplain at Leeds Trinity), Sister Catherine Mary and Sister Thérèse at Tea on the Landing, celebrating the launch of our recyclable cups and adding our thumbs-ups to the banner for the Climate Change Lobby on June 26th.

I would like to think that I’m not the only person who has benefitted from my year as a CAFOD Gapper, as I have spoken to many people about the work that CAFOD do and what they can do to make their world a better place – with a month left to go, the official number of people I have spoken to about CAFOD is at over 1,000!

 

I’ll take this opportunity to thank everyone I have met throughout the last year. Leeds Trinity University Chaplaincy, everyone at Trinity, my fellow gappers, CAFOD Leeds, broader CAFOD staff and volunteers… the list goes on!

 

On to the next adventure…

Click the link if you would like to know more about CAFOD’s gap year programme Step into the Gap or call (0113) 275 9302 to speak to Bronagh.

Holy Family School collects change to buy £600 of World Gifts

 

Holy Family, Leeds, Cafod, World Gifts.

The Fairtrade Group in action

Office staff at Holy Family School in Keighley were bemused to be presented with an order for processing that included a donkey, 2 pigeons, 3 vegetable gardens, 2 goats and a chicken breeding unit.

The Fairtrade Group in school had spent December 2015 collecting small change in order to donate £600 to CAFOD’s World Gifts. This scheme solves the problem of choosing a gift that is ultimately unwanted clutter and provides tremendous help to someone who can really benefit from it.

Farming is often the only means of survival for people living in poverty. But, for many, poor climate, lack of equipment, or no training makes even just growing enough food to survive impossible. The animals and vegetable gardens bought by the Fairtrade Group will offer long-term farming solutions for people in the most vulnerable communities.

James Moreland, leader of the Fairtrade Group said, “I was amazed at the response. I fully expected a few pounds from each Tutor Group for a bee hive or a couple of chickens but to be able to send £600 for a package that includes health kit, new business support and whole vegetable gardens is terrific. And it all comes from loose change that no-one really missed. It is a very simple way in to understanding how a little can go a long way in the developing world.”

CAFOD is the Holy Family’s development partner and many fundraising events are organised throughout the school year to raise vital funds.

Have a look at the Resources for Schools to fundraise for World Gifts or contact Joanne Taylor on 0113 275 9302.

 

 

Cardinal Heenan Students Raise Over £3,000 For CAFOD

Students from the CAFOD group at Cardinal Heenan Catholic High School have been leading by example and have raised over £3,000 to support CAFOD’s work with some of the poorest communities across the world, including those affected by the Ebola outbreak.

Ben Oldham, the manager of CAFOD, Leeds collecting the cheque form the Cardinal Heenan CAFOD group.

Ben Oldham, the manager of CAFOD, Leeds collecting the cheque form the Cardinal Heenan CAFOD group.

The students raised money during Advent by inspiring their fellow students with different events including a Frozen sing-a-long, costing participants 50p, as well as a Tombola with Fairtrade prizes donated by students from the group.

Ben Oldham, the manager of CAFOD Leeds said, “It is overwhelming to accept a cheque for this amount. Not only have the students worked hard to fundraise, they have also been wonderfully generous with their own time and money by organising the events and donating the prizes themselves. They are an inspiration to others”.

The group aren’t stopping here. They are currently planning their activities for Fairtrade Fortnight so keep an eye out in the North Leeds parishes at the end of the month and please support the students by purchasing products from their stalls.

If you would like to know money about fundraising within your school for CAFOD please contact the CAFOD Leeds office leeds@cafod.org.uk