It was great to welcome Niamh to the volunteer centre today. As well as making time to do some of her admin work we were able to visit the Poor Clare community next door. After I had taken the Sisters through the CAFOD Quiz, Niamh then spoke about her visit to our partners in Uganda earlier this year.
The Sisters were really receptive and engaging, asking lots of questions about the work of CAFOD; how can we get involved, they asked? Sr Juliana put it in such a lovely way; who can we tuck under our arm and carry in prayer. They have requested details of 17 of our CAFOD programmes, one for each Sister to ‘adopt’ and pray for.
St Anezka was really interested to hear about Niamh’s love of music and her going to study songwriting in September. She called in afterwards to give Niamh a CD of one her favourite New Zealand singer/songwriters, Brooke Fraser.
Apparently they are quite a musical community next door!
Be a Gap Year Volunteer with CAFOD
CAFOD Step into the Gap volunteer Ciara Hogan shares her experiences of arriving in El Salvador, meeting CAFOD’s partners and seeing inspiring, creative projects.
- Ciara Hogan is currently in El Salvador
Our first few days in Central America have been absolutely incredible. In the short time we’ve been here we have already experienced so many different people and places, each giving us so much to think about and reflect on.
One of those experiences was our visit to La Palma, a town in the mountains of El Salvador bordering Honduras. This was our first visit to a family since we arrived.
Prior to this visit we had been meeting partners in their offices so I was looking forward to seeing a family in their own home and hearing their stories. La Palma is a town famous for its crafts.
It is the home of El Salvador’s unique brightly coloured art that has become so famous around the world because of the Romero Cross. The streets are covered in bright paintings- even the lampposts are covered in art!
We were travelling to La Palma to meet Lazaro, an artist who creates all of the Romero crosses that are sold by CAFOD.
He oversees the production of each cross, from the carpentry to the varnishing done by his own grown-up daughters. I was particularly excited about this meeting as the cross that I have had since I was young, and that has travelled with me to university and now to the Briars is a Romero cross that was made in El Salvador.
Maggie Mairura Community Participation Coordinator for CAFOD in Nottingham Diocese signposting to updates from our ‘Gappers’!………..
Step into the Gap, CAFOD’s gap year programme, is an opportunity for young people to volunteer in the UK, gain experience, develop leadership skills and visit CAFOD partners and the communities we work with.
Kayleigh, Ciara and Maggie at the Briars September 2017
So for us here in Nottingham Diocese that means we benefit as for the last few years we have had 2 ‘Gappers’ based at the Briars Retreat Centre in Crich.
Find out more and apply here for this September
So Ciara, following in Bishop Patrick’s recent footsteps is visiting our partners in El Salvador and Nicaragua, whilst Kayleigh, is in Sierra Leone.
Making Romero Crosses
They are keeping in touch via blogs and instagram and tweets etc etc! So here are some links to recent updates from them both……….. enjoy!