All Power to Be workshop at Christ the King School.

Today, Rowena a CAFOD Education volunteer in training, joined Bea at CTK. Our Brief was to get the children to make a large poster of messages to the World Bank about alternative energy investments.CTK 23rd June 2017 powere to be 023.JPG

After an assembly where the children learned about how putting solar panels in a school, clinic and internet cafe, and a solar pump on the water supply changed the lives of many in a district in Kenya, we discussed the importance of solar power.

They learned that the global North mostly benefits from renewable energies. However, we learnt that the technology has become so good, that it is not as expensive to install as it was 10 years ago. It has also become more efficient and now can be stored in banks of batteries.

Our brothers and sisters in the Global South can benefit from these improvements. CAFOD and her partners are installing solar power in communities in need and making a big difference. CAFOD feels using this technology is far less polluting than energy produced from fossil fuels, like paraffin lanterns and petrol driven generators for those who could afford them.

Children from year 2 learnt they could send a message to the Global North and wrote their say on “rays” to go on the sun poster.

One child wrote, “Why aren’t solar-power systems free for the Global South?

Everyone, teachers and children alike wrote their messages and we made 4 posters.

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Year 6 pupils, Shiarna, Emilia, Luis and Callum stayed to talk about their experience with the workshop.

Luis said “It’s important that the global South gets to use solar energy”

The others were impressed with having their say for those without a voice, and sending the message to the world.

Emilia said, “We got to say what we think”

Callum chimed in, “It’s good to express my opinion”

Many thanks everyone, Love and God Bless, Bea

We are sure that you are absolutely inspired by fantastic pupils of Christ The King, and want to take part in the campaign yourself. Click here to take actions online or view and order material to run your own campaign action in your community. 

Axminster Pupils Share The Power To Be

St Mary’s Catholic primary school in Axminster, invited 2 CAFOD Education Volunteers, Naomi and myself, Bea to come into the school to share CAFOD’s new campaign “Power to Be” with its wonderful pupils.

St Marys Pupils Shine During Workshop

We started the day with the “Power to Be” assembly, where a town in Kenya comes to life with the help of power supplied from solar panels. Not only is the town affected but the whole district too, with many opportunities provided by the electricity.

The assembly explained how children could now learn for longer thanks to new solar lights provided to them for study.  These are much better better than their old paraffin lamps which give off dangerous fumes.  In addition the community’s  medical centre now has power to keep vaccinations and medicines cool, so health is improved.   Also, a life giving solar pump for raising and storing water has enabled the market garden to flourish and become more productive. Diets and hygiene are improved thanks to this innovation.

The whole school looked at how important solar energy is for the peoples of the Global South. Not only does it impact on peoples’ lives, they can then begin to hope to achieve their dreams and have the “Power to Be”!

All the children and some staff wrote messages to the World Bank to say how important it is to invest in solar power for the Global South. The poster pictured is the result.

St Marys Power to Be poster

The older pupils also enjoyed the Unfair Football Game, and were able to empathise with our brothers and sisters in the fight against injustice.

“I think that in the Global South it is not always fair” wrote a pupil from Year 6. Another wrote, “I would recommend the CAFOD educational lesson (Workshop) to other schools” And best of all, “I really enjoyed it”

Wow. Well done all of you. Your poster is great.

Love and God Bless, Bea

We are sure that you are absolutely inspired by fantastic pupils of Christ The King, and want to take part in the campaign yourself. Click here to take actions online or view and order material to run your own campaign action in your community. 

Step into the GAP: Sharing stories of Cambodia in Blackpool, Devon and Somerset

James Ronan, who visited Cambodia on CAFOD’s Step into the Gap, talks about how he has been sharing his experiences of seeing CAFOD’s work in Cambodia.

Since returning from Cambodia I have had the privilege of being able to share the important stories of the people we spent time with on the visit overseas. I have been giving talks and sharing my experiences of CAFOD’s work with students, staff and parishioners in my placement at St Mary’s Catholic Academy and the parish of St John Vianney in Blackpool and across the country. It has been an amazing opportunity sharing the monumental work achieved in Cambodia in such a short space of time only made possible through the Catholic communities support here in England and Wales through CAFOD.

Both myself and fellow gapper Hannah (who went to Ethiopia) had the opportunity to share on the 4th April about our overseas visits at a parish evening at St John Vianney, which was attended by nineteen people. I shared the stories of the Cambodian communities we met in Ou Breus village and how through CAFOD and its partners support the community now has better access to clean safe drinking water through the development of a water pump. For the presentation evening for parishioners I cooked a Cambodian dessert called Kuay Kamuan (Bananas cooked in Coconut milk) and Hannah cooked Ethiopian spinach which went down really well.

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James shares Step into the Gap Cambodia visit with parishioners at an evening at St John Vianney’s in Blackpool.

Most recently I travelled back down to Devon where I am originally from to share the Step into the Gap experience with CAFOD Plymouth School Volunteers at their training day in Honiton. It was great to catch up with CAFOD staff members Simon Giarchi and David Brinn about my work and be able to talk to school volunteers about seeing CAFOD’s work first hand and how through not only parishes but schools engaging in CAFOD fundraising, change has been achieved.

A few days after my visit in Honiton I gave a presentation on Sunday after Mass at Our Lady of the Assumption & St Mary Magdalene in Tavistock (my old parish church) which was attended by over sixty parishioners. Again this presentation was really well received and raised over £100 for CAFOD in donations.  It was nice to go back to the parish where previously I had so much CAFOD input (was previously the CAFOD parish contact and a volunteer for CAFOD Plymouth in my time as a parishioner).

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James at the CAFOD Plymouth schools volunteers training day sharing about the Step into the Gap Cambodia visit.

The week after I travelled over to Somerset where I was warmly welcomed by the parish of St Thomas More in Bradford on Avon to share the stories of the Cambodian people I met and to kick start the parish in getting involved in CAFOD’s work.

On Sunday the 21st of May I attended Mass at the parish and was warmly welcomed by the whole congregation. I shared a little about my placement at St Mary’s, my gap year experience and the importance of CAFOD’s work in Cambodia. I then invited parishioners to listen to my talk after Mass which was in the Hub next door, it was great to see such enthusiasm from the parish about getting involved in CAFOD’s work. Around twenty parishioners attended the presentation after Mass where there was tea, coffee and cake with all donations going towards CAFOD’s work overseas. In total the parish raised £200 for CAFOD from my sharing of CAFOD’s work in Cambodia which was a fantastic achievement and it is hoped now that the parish will go on to fund-raise and get more involved in CAFOD’s work.

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James sharing with parishioners of St Thomas More. 

It has been great to share the first hand experiences of CAFOD’s and its partners with others and the important stories of the Cambodian people I met and spent time with in Cambodia. I am really looking forward to the last few months in my placement in Blackpool working at St Mary’s getting students involved in CAFOD’s work.