Step into the Gap volunteer Hannah Collinson is heading to Sierra Leone as part of her CAFOD gap year! Read her thoughts below…
Hannah is travelling to Sierra Leone
At the end of January, as part of my year with Step into the Gap, I will be travelling to Sierra Leone for two and a half weeks. During this time, myself and three other CAFOD gappers will visit Freetown, Kambia and Bo.
In these three towns we will be visiting different CAFOD partners such as KADDRO which focuses on livelihood support and emergency response in Kambia; The Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary who work to improve water, agriculture, sanitation and hygiene in Bo and CARITAS which focuses on good governance and security in Freetown.
We will also be meeting the CAFOD staff in the Sierra Leone office and spending time with the communities that CAFOD and our partners have helped and are continuing to help. I am excited to meet the communities, to see the impact first hand and to really learn valuable lessons that will inspire and humble us on our journeys. Although at times it may be difficult, I am really hoping to experience the sense of hope and progress within the communities after the Ebola Crisis.
Our team of Step into the Gap volunteers are departing on their overseas trips to either Sierra Leone, Nicaragua and El Salvador. Hannah Collinson is on placement with our Youth Ministry Team in Hexham and Newcastle Diocese. She tells us about what she has been doing to prepare for her overseas visit to Sierra Leone:
“In order to prepare for the trip we have been learning more about social justice, sustainable development and culture especially linked to Sierra Leone. We have also been spreading awareness about CAFOD’s work and the impact everyone can make during retreats at the Youth Ministry Team where I volunteer. This included a morning prayer session in which young people used the Advent themes of hope, peace, joy and love to write messages that will be taken and possibly exchanged with the people we encounter in Sierra Leone.
I feel so privileged to be involved in such amazing work and to have this incredible opportunity as part of that. I hope to do justice to the people we meet when we return and share the truth that we have heard. I am really excited to share this experience with the young people that come on retreat, so that they can really see the bigger picture of CAFOD’s work and the impact that they can all contribute to”.
Applications for CAFOD’s gap year programme are open. For anyone aged 18 – 30: an opportunity to volunteer in the UK, gain experience, develop leadership skills and visit CAFOD partners overseas. The deadline is 19th February. For all information and how to apply visit www.cafod.org.uk/Education/CAFOD-Gap-year or contact Catherine Jones 0207 095 5308 email@example.com
A Billingham volunteer is dedicating a year to working alongside communities across the world by taking part in a gap year programme run by CAFOD.
Hannah Collinson, our new gap year volunteer
Hannah Collinson is taking part in the ‘Step into the Gap’ programme after graduating from the University of Leeds with a Masters in Chemistry.
She will spend the year campaigning, fundraising and raising awareness of CAFOD’s work at a placement in the Hexham and Newcastle diocese.
Hannah will also make an international trip to meet vulnerable communities that the charity works alongside.