Young people from eight Catholic schools across the Hexham and Newcastle diocese joined together for a Young Leaders event run by CAFOD aimed at improving leadership skills and teamwork.
The day of celebration, held on Tuesday July 4, was the third and final time the secondary school pupils met with CAFOD this year.
Pupils from Saint Benet Biscop in Bedlington, Saint Anthony’s in Sunderland, Saint Joseph’s in Hebburn, Saint Leonard’s in Durham, Saint Robert’s in Washington, Saint Mary’s in Newcastle, Saint Mary’s in Gateshead and Saint John’s in Bishop Auckland were all present.
CAFOD’s Young Leadership programme enables students to take the lead on volunteering for CAFOD to make a difference in fighting poverty and injustice. Young leaders receive training on different leadership skills such as planning, organisation, communication and presentation, while also learning about CAFOD’s work in developing countries around the world.
The young leaders then take part in or help to organise volunteering activities in their schools or parishes on behalf of CAFOD, encouraging others to take action for global justice, whether through fundraising, educating their peers or raising awareness through assemblies and lunchtime clubs.
CAFOD representative in Hexham and Newcastle, Jeremy Cain, said: “All the schools involved deserve praise as they have raised lots of money and also lots of awareness.
“The schools have been doing a variety of fundraising, including non-uniform days, cake sales and much more.
“It was great to teach the children about what CAFOD does and alsogive them the chance to learn a bit more about leadership skills and teamwork. We hope they go away and share the message they received.”
The schools were taught about CAFOD’s Power to Be campaign. Currently, one in six people live without electricity globally. Local, renewable energy is usually the cheapest and most efficient way to bring power to the poorest communities.
It means that families don’t have to rely on dangerous and unhealthy energy sources such as paraffin lamps and firewood. It enables children to study after dark, nurses to keep vaccines cold and farmers to irrigate crops.