At the end of April we were delighted to welcome Fr Pius Win Than, CAFOD partner from Pathein Diocese in Myanmar, to our diocese during his first trip to the UK.
Fr Pius is Associate Director of Caritas Pathein. Fr Pius and Caritas Pathein were directly involved in aftermath of Cyclone Nargis in 2008, the worst cyclone to hit Myanmar and have been leading on helping communities to rebuild after the disaster.
Fr Pius’ first stop was St Paul’s Secondary School in Leicester, beginning with a guided tour of the beautiful new school buildings, led by three confident and friendly members of the Student Council, Kesna, Kevin and Greta. Fr Pius then spoke to two groups of year 10 students who were all studying poverty and effective ways to alleviate it as part of their RE course. The school community kindly provided lunch and the opportunity to meet a small group of student Parish Ambassadors, 6th form students who had taken part in the schools trip to Ghana last year and further members of the student council.
Thank you to Seamus O’Looskan, Chaplain, and all staff and students involved, for their hospitality and warmth. Fr Pius was very impressed by the school and was very interested in the British education system in general. He said he was going home with lots of photographs and new ideas!
In the evening, Fr Pius was hosted by Mother of God Parish in Leicester , where he was able to speak to a groups of interested CAFOD supporters and volunteers from Leicester, Nottingham and Derby and to answer their questions. Thanks go to those parishioners who set up the room and provided refreshments as well as to all those who made the effort to attend.
In each of his presentations, Fr Pius explained with the aid of photographs, what it had been like to be experience Cyclone Nargis and the work that had been done since to provide preparedness training for children and adults to mitigate the effect of future disasters. Caritas Pathein is also working with several communities to improve food security through better farming methods and community rice banks, improve access to clean drinking water and provide training in hygiene and provide education for children through volunteer teachers and provision of nursery schooling.
Fr Pius pointed out that Caritas Pathein does not just work with Catholics and that most communities are majority Buddhist. This even-handness, together with the success of the work around disaster risk reduction, in particular, has led to increasingly good relations with Buddhist leaders and the government authorities.
Fr Pius ended by offering his heartfelt gratitude to all those who support CAFOD financially as it helps to make his work a reality and improve the lives of the communities with which he works.
Climate change could affect so many of the things we care about, from our families, to our food, to our futures. But so often what we hear about climate change sounds really distant and technical.
At CAFOD climate change is big news at the moment. It’s the biggest threat to reducing poverty that exists today, and our campaign, One Climate, One World, is about asking people to join together to make a difference.
Young people are absolutely crucial to helping bring about this difference. They have the passion and the power to inspire the rest of us to take action, which is why we are calling on young people to share their views about climate change by making short videos. We want young people to show everyone why fighting climate change matters.
Films may be inspired by an extra-curricular climate change project, memorable climate change lessons in school or any other climate-related issue young people wish to share. The more diverse the films are the better!
Anyone aged 5-18 can enter films. We’re asking participants to share their films with their political representatives and make sure that young people’s voices are heard loud and clear as the UN climate summit in Paris draws closer. And we have exciting plans for the most creative and inspiring films to be featured prominently in the Climate Coalition’s campaigning as the UK’s representatives prepare to leave for Paris, so watch this space.
The most inspiring and creative films will be featured in the Coalition’s public campaign this year.
Entries close on Friday 24 July 2015.
Find out more about the Close-up on Climate project by visiting cafod.org.uk/closeup
Find more resources to join our One Climate, One World campaign by visiting cafod.org.uk/education
Close-up on Climate is being delivered on behalf of the Climate Coalition by All We Can, CAFOD, Christian Aid, Into Film, the NUS, Oxfam and the WWF