At CAFOD we recognise that young people can make a huge difference, which is why we want to equip senior students to be Young Leaders in their local and global communities. CAFOD’s Young Leadership Programme is designed for Sixth Formers and provides them with training to develop leadership skills.
On Wednesday 16 January, St Peter’s Catholic School in Guildford kindly hosted CAFOD’s second training day for Young Leaders in their amazing purpose-built St Cecilia’s Hall. The day was ably led by CAFOD’s Sarah Burrows, Young Leadership Coordinator for Youth. There were over sixty Sixth Former attendees from schools across Arundel and Brighton and Portsmouth including: St Peter’s Guildford, Salesian College Chertsey, Cardinal Newman School Hove, Christ the King Isle of Wight, Salesian College Farnborough, St Anne’s Southampton, St Joseph College Reading, Oaklands College Waterlooville, and Farnborough Hill School.
The day involved prayer, reflection, icebreakers and feedback on how the students had undertaken leadership projects last term. I was amazed at how brilliantly these young people engaged with one another and enthusiastically shared what they had done previously; such as making videos to show awareness of CAFOD, leading CAFOD assemblies to primary school pupils, organising CAFOD stalls, mufty days, cake sales etc.
During the day they also explored Lent family fast day. Training was given on CAFOD values, motivating listeners to become engaged in CAFOD projects, hearing about how young leaders work in Colombia and learning how to speak up for justice and peace. In the afternoon they were asked to plan a school fund raising event and present their ideas to a critical ‘Dragon’s Den’ panel who made them justify their decisions! One group even came up with the idea of the Sixth Formers raising money through giving up their time to help out in younger classes.
My thanks to Sarah Burrows for leading the day, Kevin Mendes and St Peter’s Students and staff for hosting the event, Jo Lewry for her assistance, staff and chaplains from the schools who supported the day; but most of all, to the Young Leaders 2018-2019. You are an inspiration!
There certainly is HOPE for the future when you see the commitment, compassion, energy, drive and creativity of these young people empowered to make a difference. We look forward to seeing you all again for the final day in May.