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 Thursday 22 January, St Paul’s Catholic College in Burgess Hill kindly hosted CAFOD’s second training day for Young Leaders. We were given a warm welcome by Headteacher Rob Carter and School Chaplain Christian Nobleza. The day was ably led by CAFOD’s Sinead Callaghan, Young Leadership Coordinator. There were over forty sixth former attendees from schools across Arundel and Brighton including: St Peter’s Catholic School Guildford, Salesian College Chertsey, Cardinal Newman School Hove, St Paul’s Catholic College Burgess Hill and St Wilfrid’s Catholic School Crawley.
Students were firstly given the opportunity to feedback on leadership projects from 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 preparing a quiz on human rights defenders, creating a display board on human rights defenders to raise awareness, speaking to Yr.7s on the impact of climate change, leading CAFOD assemblies and liturgies to primary and younger secondary students within their own schools, organising charity cake sales and promoting world gifts. Students from one school even gave a detailed explanation on how they had improved the school wide recycling system – through research, planning and implementation.
The day involved prayer, reflection, icebreakers, a session understanding CAFOD’s values whilst motivating listeners to become engaged in CAFOD projects to work for a fairer more just world. The students identified examples of ‘good communication’ after watching Simon Sinek’s video which emphasised; ‘people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it,’ and were asked to link this concept for speaking up for a more just world. After lunch, they watched a Lent video about Human Rights Defenders, examined some case studies and matched them to some sustainable development goals. Later they watched a football fundraiser video and were challenged to plan a football fund raising event for Lent within their own schools.
My thanks to Sinead Callaghan for leading the day, Christian Nobleza and St Paul’s students and staff for hosting the event, staff and chaplains from the schools who supported the day; but most of all, to the Young Leaders 2019-2020. 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 April.