4 Networking Volume 21, Issue 3 Autumn Term 2020
Young people spreading hope this Summer
This year has been a year like no other. In a time where it would have been easy to give up hope, young people have instead committed themselves to inspiring and leading us all to a brighter future. Not only were we faced, as ever, with the ongoing challenges of poverty, injustice and climate change, but we were also confronted with a global pandemic.
In the midst of adjusting to a new way of life, to learning at home and not going out with their friends, young people around the UK have challenged themselves to look out for our global neighbours around the world.
Bernard’s school community. Siobhan, Lay Chaplain, shared that “The students thought this would be a great way to do something together while we are apart. Students and staff slept in their own garden or living room and were sponsored for this. We raised over £1000 which will go towards helping those that are living in countries with poor health systems”
At Salesians College in Farnborough, the CAFOD Young Leader group have been organising online quizzes for their school community, already raising over £600. Joseph explained that being a young leader is “a good way to make a visible difference to the wider community… and hopefully help change and improve the lives of others.”
Pope Francis in Christus Vivit pointed out to us that “Young people are not meant to become discouraged; they are meant to dream great things, to seek vast horizons, to aim higher, to take on the world, to accept challenges and to offer the best of themselves to the building of something better”. This is exactly what we have seen young people doing with their schools, youth groups and at home during the summer term and holidays.
Young people across the country have accepted the challenge of building something better. Across the world, many people lack access to basic healthcare or clean water, and others cannot go out to work because of the lockdown, making it difficult to provide food for their families. After learning about how different communities have been affected by COVID-19, these young people have come up with creative ways to take part in CAFOD’s Summer of Hope appeal.
At St Bernard’s school in Slough, the students have taken part in a sleep out. Maarlon, a student, shared that “by sleeping outside, we raised money to help those people in need. It made me reflect on how privileged I am to have the basic necessities during this global struggle.” Charity work and fundraising is seen as an important part of St
Young people in Brentwood diocese have joined together to do an 18 hour Lourdes challenge. After their summer pilgrimage was cancelled, they decided to spend the 18 hours they would have spent on the coach journey doing amazing challenges to raise money for CAFOD. Beth shared that “Young people in the Diocese are brilliant in their creativity and enthusiasm, and we look forward to the 18 hour challenge as a wonderful launch for our virtual pilgrimage”.
Children and primary schools have also been getting involved in the Summer of Hope. Freddie from year 2, decided to do his first ever half marathon after learning about being a good neighbour at school. He has raised over £1000 for CAFOD helping us to reach out to where the need is greatest.
Families around the world are already seeing the difference that our supporters, including these young people, are making. We have been able to adapt our programmes, provide hygiene kits, food and clean water to families, and supported partners to raise awareness in their communities. We have joined forces with the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) to scale up our response, ensuring that no one is beyond reach of the aid they need to survive.
Yet, COVID-19 is still affecting communities around the world. Families who have been forced to flee their homes are particularly vulnerable to the virus. Refugees face overcrowding and a lack of hygiene facilities in refugee camps meaning the spread of the virus could be devastating.