Jeremy Cain, Hexham and Newcastle Diocese Community Participation Coordinator, reports on how young people are helping CAFOD spread their message in parishes.
Meisha likes to get involved. Not only is she a member of our diocesan Youth Council, she has also signed up to take part in the John Paul II Award programme. This provides young people with an opportunity to gain recognition for the work they do in service of their church community, in a similar way to the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme.
As part of the programme, she offered to promote our Harvest Fast Day Appeal by sharing the story of Nicanora from Bolivia with her Sunday Mass congregation. Nicanora lives on the Altiplano, an extremely inhospitable part of Bolivia where poverty is widespread. She tells us, “On a normal day when we don’t have much food, we eat barley soup. We grind the barley and mix it with water. When we eat just this soup all day, we get tired very quickly. Sometimes I buy some vegetables and make them last as long as I can. But if there’s no money, and I can’t buy vegetables, we’ll just go without.”
The good news is that with your support CAFOD is working with its partners to help her and others like her to grow more and more varied food. By training them in new as well as traditional farming methods, and providing them with the equipment they need, not only can they now feed their families but they’re even able to sell a little of what’s left in the local market, so earning a valuable income.
It’s great that young people in Hexham and Newcastle are willing to offer their time to reach out to their sisters and brothers overseas and we’d like to say a big thank you to Meisha for her efforts. If you’d like to help us too, please get in touch at email@example.com.