Congratulations to our team of CAFOD Young Leaders from the Lower Sixth who have successfully raised £945 for CAFOD’s Walk for Water campaign.
The original idea of the CAFOD campaign was to challenge participants to walk 10,000 steps per day during Lent and get sponsored for their efforts. Our Young Leaders decided to put a twist on this challenge and incorporate the School and its founding RCE Sisters into the campaign. They did this by creating a competition between the Year Groups to see who could walk the distance equivalent to that between Farnborough Hill and other RCE schools in America. Asheville in North Carolina provided the end goal which the girls encouraged everyone to reach.
The challenge not only meant that participants walked in solidarity with those who must journey great distances to collect clean water, but also gave them some insight into how the Sisters would have felt when they left their homes and followed God’s call to educate young women.
The Walk for Water challenge is just one of many initiatives which the Young Leaders team has embarked on under the auspices of the CAFOD Young Leaders programme during this unusual year. As a school, we value this programme highly as it provides a great opportunity for our pupils develop leadership skills and to learn about issues such as development, sustainability, the environment and poverty. Being a CAFOD Young Leader is a much sought-after role for our sixth formers. They attend several training days run by CAFOD along with groups from other schools, and they bring information about various global issues back to school where they work on raising awareness and fundraising for CAFOD (Catholic Agency For Overseas Development).
This year’s team has been brimming with ideas, many of which they have brought to fruition during the course of the year. Three training days run by CAFOD provided guidance and inspiration as the girls learned about leadership, UN action goals, communication, fundraising and key issues like climate change. As a result of these training sessions the girls were armed with the skills to raise awareness and organise charity initiatives. They led and contributed to School Assemblies and wrote regular articles and reflections in the School’s weekly newsletter. Practical action by the team included their Christmas initiative to ‘Send a Christmas Message to the Brave’ reaching out to people around the world who are standing up for human rights. They also coordinated a Harvest competition between the Tutor Groups which raised £1573.07 for CAFOD and the Trussel Trust.
Most recently, the girls have launched their final initiative which is linked to raising awareness about climate change in anticipation of the United Nations Climate Conference (COP 26). They have taken inspiration from CAFOD’s ‘Eyes of the World Campaign for Young People’: “The eyes of the world are on us this year as Britain hosts world leaders for the United Nations' climate change talks – COP26. They will make important decisions that will shape the future of our global family. Join our campaign to call on the Prime Minister to support the world's poorest communities on the front line of the climate crisis.” Our team of Young Leaders is encouraging pupils to bring in second-hand clothes which will first be used to create a big picture of an eye in the grounds to raise awareness and then will be donated to a charity.