Most of us have neighbours, but by volunteering with CAFOD, many people are becoming Global Neighbours to people all across the world. Education Volunteer, Margaret Wellington talks about her role at CAFOD to educate and inspire young people to show care and compassion to those from every corner of the world.
Reading my Diocesan Newspaper inspired me to become a CAFOD Volunteer
I got involved in CAFOD through an article in The Vine written by Frank Sudlow who was the CAFOD Diocesan Manager for CAFOD. I have now been a volunteer for 8 years.
My main CAFOD role is as an education volunteer visiting schools to present assemblies and workshops, mostly in the South Bucks and Slough areas. I am also the co-ordinator for the education volunteers in the Northampton diocese – for this I concentrate on giving advice to the other volunteers on resources and the delivery of them.
The other volunteers are so experienced and knowledgeable about the resources that I’m nearly redundant! I always read through the evaluation forms given sent by a volunteer or a school after each visit and report back points of interest to the rest of the team.
About three times a year I attend a meeting of the CAFOD National Advisory Group (primary schools). We study the resources currently in preparation, for Lent, Harvest or other events such as year of mercy, Rio Olympic Games.
Our comments are valued and are fed into the final versions of the resources before they are sent to all the other schools’ volunteers in England and Wales for them to use in their school visits. I have always been very impressed with the standard of CAFOD’s education resources and feel so privileged to be part of the group producing them.
There are lots of fun stories of being a volunteer
The “Life without Taps” workshop gave its moments of interest. Two pupils (different schools) had experienced carrying containers of water when they visited family in Zimbabwe.
Both were keen to tell the other children of the difficulties encountered and how the containers were much bigger that the 12 litre buckets I had provided (and they had to carry them on their heads!).
During an assembly on “Make a Splash this Lent” I showed a slide of children in a Ugandan village sharing breakfast. I asked the children what they thought would happen next – one child answered “put the bowls in a dishwasher”!
About 2 years ago, the assembly was set around the swamps of Sierra Leone. Kate, one of my fellow volunteers, advised us to ask the children which character lives in a swamp. When the children realised I was referring to Shrek, it was a lightbulb moment and you could see everyone tune in and engage.
Our education volunteer training days have their moments of fun – I loved it when we were aked to make and perform a rap about street violence; Jay Z or Puff Daddy have no need to feel threatened!