William Green is a second year student nurse at Sheffield Hallam University and an active CAFOD campaigner in his home diocese of Hallam. He recently became a CAFOD MP Correspondent, which means he will regularly contact his MP to call for action on development issues. Here he talks about his new campaigning role and the celebration in Parliament that kick-started it all.
Write to your MP for CAFOD
I became involved with CAFOD in 2011 because I wanted to do something more practical with my faith. As a young Catholic, often facing opposition from my peers, I wanted to show people that being Catholic means doing good.
I decided to become an MP Correspondent (MPC) recently after a friend invited me to attend CAFOD’s Annual CAFOD MPC Parliamentary Reception at the House of Commons. It was my first chance to represent CAFOD in Parliament and a really exciting opportunity.
The event was fantastic: it was a chance to form relationships with other campaigners who have a similar outlook to me and it gave me the chance to link directly with Paul Bloomfield, my MP for Sheffield Central. As an MP, Paul has a decision-making power that means he can directly affect the lives of the world’s poorest people. I want to make sure he considers how young people in his constituency feel when he’s making those decisions and I see myself as representative of that voice.
Being an MPC for CAFOD means I’ll personally write to or meet Paul at least three times a year to talk about what he can do on key development issues and I’m excited to get stuck in. I was involved in CAFOD’s most recent campaign – Hungry for Change. The campaign established the need for a fairer food system and called for support of small scale farmers by encouraging more targeted aid for them and asked the Government to place tougher restrictions on big food companies. I tried to raise awareness of the problems at hand by living on a pound a day – it was hard but I felt I was standing in solidarity with over a billion people around the world who don’t have enough to eat.
Become an MPC today
In the coming months CAFOD is going to be looking at some of the reasons people go hungry – like climate change and a lack of access to sustainable energy. I know that bringing about change will take time, but I think my role as an MP Correspondent will go some way to ensuring the young people of my diocese have their voices heard on this issue.
I want to see our Government follow the example of countries like Denmark by competing for more sustainable infrastructure and becoming an example to the rest of the world. If I can influence my MP, I think others should be doing the same. Together, we can bring about change.
My generation are going to feel the effects of climate change much more strongly than any before us in history, and CAFOD’s work on the issue is going to be vital. If we don’t take action, how can we hold our heads up as Christians and claim that we have truly shown love for one another? Our duties as Catholics include practising our faith inside and outside the Church. If we have resources available to us that mean we can talk directly to government – why wouldn’t we use them?
Find out more about becoming an MPC or email firstname.lastname@example.org