On the 23rd of July the Sacred Heart Parish, Hove welcomed some very special guests.
Freddy, César and María, CAFOD Partners from Colombia visited and were welcome with a fantastic shared meal prepared by the Parish.
Freddy, 30 and ex-gang member, is now a rapper promoting peace and alternatives for the violence which is present in Colombia. César, 39, turned an AK47 rifle into a guitar and works as a musician and peace activist. César is part of a group called the Battalion of Immediate Artistic Reaction. They immediately respond to reports of violence by heading to those areas to play music about peace. Freddy said ‘We are all one people. If God had wanted borders he would have drawn them himself.’
Freddy and César treated us to a rich and challenging set of songs and testimonies about life in Colombia. My favourite was ‘Helicopteros’ about the helicopters which would land taking young people of the area off to war, often never to be seen again. They were all very poignant, incredibly musical and painted a great picture about what life is like for many in Colombia. ‘When a bullet is shot it often arrives to a body that doesn’t deserve it.’ said Freddy.
When I meet our partners and hear of the situations I realise how complicated is the web of poverty in many places throughout the world. There is no one simple answer that will solve all the problems of the world or successfully bring development to a country. One of the many reasons I work for CAFOD is that we look at the bigger picture and we fund important programmes of work which tackle the bigger problems, the underlying issues which create the problems and keep people poor. I am glad to see that we are working to build peace in many of the more troubling parts of the world.
I was inspired by César, Freddy and Maria and the work that they do. I was insipred by their passion, their creativity and their desire to make a positive difference in the world. If you would like to support our work help make a great difference in the world, then please do. Follow this link http://www.cafod.org.uk/Give
Using your talents for a better world. Do you have some talents that you could use to help CAFOD in our work? Get in touch with us in the office and we can help.
In the words of Freddy, ‘In a nutshell, if you give love, you will get love back.’
Many thanks to all who made the evening such a success; Fr Kevin for your welcome and hospitality, Glenda and Roger Galvin for your organisation and tasty chilli, all who brought food to share and all who passed on invitations to others.
If you would like to see more about Freddy then click on the following links to see some of his work.