Share the Journey of Refugees – childrens’ messages of hope are an inspiration!

Jenny Seymour one of CAFOD Hallam’s school volunteers recently took the children of St Thomas of Canterbury on a journey of solidarity with refugees and their messages of hope were truly inspirational

CAFOD Message of Hope for Refugees

I was lying on my bed the other night watching the fabulous new documentary series by Reggie Yates – the Insider.  This week was a particularly moving documentary about life inside the largest refugee camp in Iraq, just across the Syrian border.   Reggie Yates visits the Middle East to spend a week living and sleeping in the largest refugee camp in Iraq alongside 30,000 Syrian refugees. Since the war in Syria first began, nearly 11 million people have fled their homes in search of safety.   The news has been dominated by those trying to cross into Europe, but some five million people ended up in refugee camps and, for some, this has become a new way of life (there was one poignant moment when one of the refugees takes Reggie up on a hill where they can see their beloved Syria and the poor girl couldn’t look as it made her too sad – longing for her old home back).  For others, they continue their perilous journey to Europe.  

Whilst watching it, it made me realise how the work we do within schools for CAFOD is so important.  The schools team for CAFOD have written a beautiful and thought-provoking workshop which takes children on a pilgrimage considering some of the issues that refugees have to face and the reasons that refugees start on their potentially perilous journey.  The pilgrimage is inspired by the events that took place on the small Mediterranean island of Lampedusa in October 2013, but raises some current issues.

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Hope is all you need! World Peace.

At the end of this journey of solidarity, the children are asked to write their messages of hope for refugees around the world today.  Originally, these messages were offered up at a mass for refugees at the end of the Year of Mercy, but messages written this year are being hand delivered to refugees within the UK.  The results are truly inspirational and it is heart-warming to see that these children truly empathise with the refugees on their journey.

Schools and parishes are still able to take part in the Lampedusa pilgrimages led by your school or parish volunteer. Please contact your schools volunteer or the CAFOD Hallam Office to book your visit.

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You are Loved – inspirational messages of hope for refugees

 

Mark’s 200 Miles Bike Ride for CAFOD

For most Sheffield teachers, the summer holidays are a time to relax ahead of the new term in September. Try telling that to Mark Conway.

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Mark Conway cycled 200 miles for CAFOD

The selfless St Wilfrid’s Primary School teacher has just completed a gruelling charity bike ride to London which totalled around 200 miles.

Mark completed the challenge in just two days and cycled over 110 miles to Wellingborough on Saturday July 29 before completing his journey the following day.

Mark, who is Head of RE at St Wilfrid’s, raised over £1,000 for CAFOD and finished his journey at the head offices in Westminster.

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Ellie’s sponsored swim for CAFOD

Jenny Seymour, one of the CAFOD schools volunteers in Hallam, met with Ellie after her successful sponsored swim raising £150 for CAFOD

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Ellie mid-way through her sponsored swim fundraising for CAFOD after being inspired by her schools workshop

Ellie goes to St Wilfrids Primary school in the Hallam Diocese which now has regular visits from their local schools volunteer, Jenny Seymour.  Ellie was inspired by a recent workshop which took place in her classroom – the Rough Guide to CAFOD – and her class were tasked by their class teacher (and Head of RE), Mark Conway, to think of innovative ways of fundraising for CAFOD or helping with CAFOD’s work.

Ellie decided she could do a sponsored swim.  Ellie’s parents thought she would swim maybe 20 lengths.  She did a couple of practice swims at her swimming pool in Dronfield, but on the day she just kept on going….and going….and going – until she had swum 60 lengths!  Amazing work Ellie – thank you so much.

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Ellie at the end of her mammoth sponsored swim for CAFOD

How can you help fundraise for CAFOD?