St Paul’s School in Milton Keynes is a great supporter of CAFOD and each year group has been raising funds for the Harvest Fast last term and were very successful at raising considerable sums during Advent for CAFOD’s World Gifts. Year 8 students were keen to hear about the whole school effort to buy a large number of gifts such as the ‘super goats’ to improve the lives of families who are living in poverty and solar cells for those living without access to electricity.
Cathy Stormonth, CAFOD education volunteer, was asked to deliver a session on ‘What is CAFOD? What does CAFOD do? How does CAFOD work and where does all the money go?’ Kay Klymyszyn, Year 8 Chaplain, planned to use CAFOD education resources for the whole day and felt that it was important for students to know much more about CAFOD to set all learning activities in the wider CAFOD working context. Cathy explained to students about how CAFOD is rooted in the Catholic community as the official aid agency for the Catholic Church in England and Wales. She went on to explain how we are global neighbours and how we work with church partners such as Caritas International across 400 programmes in 40 countries worldwide reaching people and places that others can’t reach.
Students were pleased to hear how CAFOD helps people help themselves and empowers communities so they are self-sustaining and can thrive.
Cathy went on to explain how CAFOD faces some of the world’s global challenges and what happens when there is a crisis – like the current Rohingya Crisis to help people fleeing from violence in Myanmar and supporting the emergency refugee camps in Bangladesh.
Cathy also talked about the importance of campaigning and how this works.
CAFOD speaks out against injustice and can influence international bodies and governments to change – to increase aid for access to clean and safe drinking water, to invest more in safe renewable energy (rather than fossil fuels) which all can access (eg solar power) and to take action for climate change. Students listened well and were able to recall many of the facts and statistics in a hilarious game of ‘Who wants to be a Millionaire’ CAFOD style!
Students had opportunities to take part in a CAFOD Auction to investigate inequality, look at some horrifying global climate change statistics, take part in 2 sides games like ‘Would you prefer to be hungry or thirsty?’ ‘Who would you give £5 to? A Milton Keynes homeless person or a refugee?’
When students debated what motivates CAFOD the most – class groups were consistent in their importance ratings and priorities about what Jesus said. ‘Love one another as I have loved you’. They also pointed out how great the global need is to help others and felt strongly that too many people live on less than £1.40p per day in extreme poverty and how unfair this is.
By the end of the presentation students confirmed that they had learned a great deal about the work of CAFOD and what an impressive charity it is.
Thank you St Paul’s for inviting CAFOD into your school and to Cathy for delivering a really enlightening and fruitful session.
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