“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” Mahatma Ghandi
Since a young age, every year, I’ve plodged across the causeway on the Holy Island pilgrimage. Not quite as brave as the other bare-foot walkers, you’ll spot me sporting a pair of bright pink wellies rather than feel the sand between my toes.
CAFOD has always been a part of my life. Whether it’s picnicking at Ushaw College during CAFOD H&N Harambes or hiding from Anne-Marie Hanlon when she’s looking for someone to read bidding prayers, at the pilgrimage mass. My inspiration to study Geography at Newcastle University could be traced back to their events, campaigns and support for social justice, fair trade and make poverty history. Therefore from a young age I knew that I couldn’t just know about poverty and the hardships that others face and do nothing.
The first time I ever fundraised was for CAFOD. I was seven years old and I handmade 100 stickers and sold them in school, raising £5. Although £5 may seem little, it could have been £5 of the £7 that kitted a child my age out with pens, books, a uniform, school fees and daily meals so they could go to school and have a future. Suddenly my £5 didn’t seem so little anymore.
Therefore with that memory in mind, I decided to give up my time this summer to volunteer for CAFOD Hexham and Newcastle, at their office before I started University. These few weeks I’ve helped gather statistics, produced event materials and generally helped around the office. Although it’s only a little, I know that the little that I give, whether it’s money or time, contributes to something bigger. Perhaps the money raised from events using the Guatemalan and El Salvador recipes that I sourced will mean that CAFOD can provide a struggling third world farmer with support, chickens or even a cow.
Volunteer for CAFOD by organising fundraising events, raising awareness, attending campaigns or pilgrimages or even help out in the office too.
Oh, and if you’re at the pilgrimage next summer, look out for me and my wellies!