CAFOD visits Woldingham School


David Brinn CAFOD’s Schools’ Programme Coordinator and School Volunteers Anne Barry and Isabel Cameron from Arundel and Brighton Diocese, ran a series of workshops all day on Tuesday 11 February at Woldingham School.

The day began with a talk on ‘Step into the Gap’ by ex- Gapper Sophie Aulton which captured the imaginations of 135 Sixth Form students about her experiences including her overseas visits to El Salvador and Nicaragua to see CAFOD’s work in those countries.

Following this, School Volunteer Anne Barry led two most informative workshops on Catholic Social Teaching to sixty Year 10 students.

In the afternoon, David Brinn led a CAFOD liturgy to seventy-eight Year 7 students and two workshops on Life Without Taps with thirty-nine Year 7 students in each group. He was assisted by School Volunteer Isabel Cameron. Life without Taps is a stimulating game for Key Stage 3 students which encourages the students to imagine what it is like to live without easy access to clean water and negotiate difficult decisions to reach a consensus on an action.

What’s it like to live without easy access to clean water?

Concurrently, Anne Barry led workshops for thirty-nine Yr 7 students on Children’s Rights which required students to think about basic children’s rights and also they were encouraged to think ‘outside the box’ about rights and entitlements of all children such as to have a name, to be free to choose their own religion, to live in a safe environment and to have a happy childhood and not to grow up too quickly.

CAFOD would like to thank Woldingham School for allowing us in to run presentations, and workshops for their students. Woldingham is a lovely school and we very much appreciated the lunch too.

For more information about how to get involved with CAFOD, please visit

Sophie Aulton speaks about CAFOD's 'Step into the Gap' programme at Woldingham School


On Tuesday 11 February, Sophie Aulton CAFOD’s ex gapper delivered a powerful presentation to 135 Sixth Form Students at Woldingham School about giving a year to CAFOD as part of CAFOD’s Step into the Gap programme.

What is CAFOD Step into the Gap Programme?

Sophie explained that Step into the Gap is a year long programme for 18-30 year olds, whereby they are based in a UK such as at a retreat centre and work for CAFOD. During the course of the year they learn leadership skills and the highlight of the year includes time spent abroad looking specifically at CAFOD’s work and how it is impacting people’s lives overseas.

She also talked about the impact of climate change and how the poorest countries who least contribute to it are suffering the most from the effects of it; and showed them a CAFOD Net Zero video.

What is like to be a CAFOD Gapper?

Sophie went on to talk from her heart about her own experiences of visiting El Salvador and Nicaragua in Central America, and how CAFOD is working in partnership with communities in these countries and empowering them to help them become sustainable. She illustrated her talk by describing some of the wonderful, resilient people she met whom had been empowered by CAFOD including a bee keeper, farmers, a man that kept an inland shrimp farm and described how plastic had been recycled to make a playground for children. She also gave a moving account about how some Nicaraguan women had received support in turning their lives around after suffering from sexual abuse.

Locals preparing their meals at home
Sophie said;'Step into the gap was such an amazing and moving year for me. Still two years on, I think about those whom I met in El Salvador and Nicaragua. I want their stories and experiences to be heard, and appreciated by the Catholic community in England and Wales. Speaking to young people about the issues they face is particularly important as they have the power to change things, they just need to go for it!'

Sophie ended her talk by telling the students about the impact that her Step into the Gap year had made on her personally and how her outlook and perspective on life had changed. Since her Step into the Gap year ended, she has spoken to over 5000 people about her experiences. She encouraged any students who might be interested to look on the CAFOD website for further information and left some leaflets with the School Chaplain.

Family Fast Day: Your love in her hands


Family Fast Day is a great way to show solidarity with our brothers and sisters living in poverty around the world by having a simple meal and donate what you save.

This year CAFOD’s Lent Appeal is supporting local health experts, like Sister Consilia from Zimbabwe to reach vulnerable people and transform their lives.

Sister Consilia is just one of many local experts who work tirelessly throughout the year to save people’s lives. She is a brilliant life-saving pharmacist and works at the Mission Hospital in Gokwe, Zimbabwe helping some of the poorest people in the area. Six days a week, most weeks of the year, she treats sick people, pregnant mothers and babies and she does this because of the love she has for the people who come to her.

The generosity of Catholics across England and Wales at Family Fast Day is what makes projects such as the mission hospital possible. Though we can’t be in Zimbabwe with Sr Consilia ourselves, our love can still reach her. Your support is like the arms of Sr Consilia in the photo – holding the baby and saying: we’ll be there for the future.

Family Fast Day is your love in her hands.

Do you want to take part in CAFOD’s Family Fast Day and support one of our local experts, like Sister Consilia, to save the lives of people in need?

You can help by supporting our Lent appeal and enable us to reach out to more families and communities in desperate need of help. Also you could follow our 2020 online Lent calendar to reflect, pray and take global justice actions throughout the season of Lent.

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Download our Lent calendar for children or our calendar for young people.

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