Young CAFOD supporter receives award for his efforts to help those in need

CAFOD supporter Rosen Bello has received an award for his efforts to help vulnerable people in need. Rosen, aged 14 and from Beckton, was given the Brentwood Diocese School’s Citizenship Award for his continuous efforts to raise money for the aid agency CAFOD.

Rosen’s fundraising efforts began when he was 12.  He was keen to join CAFOD’s Young Leadership Scheme but, as the scheme is for pupils aged 16 and over, he was too young. Unperturbed, Rosen took matters into his own hands.  With the help of his mum, Nicole, he organised a community ‘Fun Day’ in Dagenham where there was a BBQ, community games and a sweet stall.  Inspired by his first foray into fundraising, Rosen went on to organise another Fun Day in Plaistow last September and in March Rosen, his cousin and younger sister sold cookies for CAFOD’s Lent campaign.

Rosen Bello and cousins

His enthusiasm for fundraising and supporting those in need did not go unnoticed by those around him.  Having been recognised for his selfless nature with the Jack Petchey award last year, which recognises achievement in young people, he was then nominated for a Diocesan award.  Rosen, who said he was surprised and proud to receive the award, was presented with it during a mass at Brentwood Cathedral led by Bishop Allan.

Rosen said:

“We should support CAFOD because we’re privileged being born in this country and should do something to help others.  We were born in a country with lots of resources so we should do what we can for people in countries who don’t have the things we do.”

Nicole, Rosen’s mum, said:

“I like to support him with his ideas. When he tells me his plans, I tell him ‘I’m behind you’.  I want to support his passion.”

The money raised by Rosen will help those living in extreme poverty to reach their full potential, regardless of religion or culture, by equipping them with the skills and opportunities to live with dignity, support their families and give something back to their communities.

Rosen’s desire to stand in solidarity with those in need shows no sign of flailing; he’s organising another Community Fun Day in Plaistow – this time over two days – on the 8th and 9th July.

It’s inspiring to see young people like Rosen taking the initiative and doing all they can to raise money for those in need.  People often bemoan the apathy of the youth but Rosen completely contradicts this notion.  His drive and enthusiasm is fantastic to see.  Thanks for all you do, Rosen!

Local Wickford student travels to parliament to ask MPs important questions before the general election

 

CAFOD supporter Kiera Harman, 17, travelled from Wickford to Westminster to speak with MPs in Parliament to ensure the interests of the world’s poorest people will be kept in mind during the upcoming general election.

On Monday 24 April, sixty supporters of CAFOD travelled from across the country to meet with MPs from different political parties at Speaker’s House in Parliament. Kiera Harman met with the politicians to speak about maintaining commitments to supporting people living in poverty through UK aid and action to tackle climate change.

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Young Leaders at Parliament showing their support for CAFOD’s new campaign

Speaking at the event, Kiera said: “It’s important to be here to talk to MPs so we can get them to understand the things that matter to us. I study government and politics at A-level and I’m really interested in politics, so this is a good opportunity to get more connected. I also want to ask my MP what he is doing about climate change. CAFOD is doing a lot of work in this area but I want to know what my MP’s party is doing.”

Commons Speaker the Rt Hon John Bercow MP told the reception:

“For my part, I always think the greatest moral challenge of our times is to try to do something about the gross crisis and disfiguring scar of global poverty. The fact that 1,000 million people around the world exist on less than a dollar a day and very large numbers of people besides exist on only moderately more than that is, frankly, a source not only of anxiety but of real shame to us all.”

Kiera is part of CAFOD’s Young Leadership programme, which offers training to help young campaigners become leaders in their local and global communities. Also at the Parliamentary reception were CAFOD ‘MP Correspondents’, supporters who write to MPs on international development issues such as the impact of climate change and trade practices.

CAFOD is encouraging Catholics to ask election candidates to support UK commitments on tackling poverty overseas and climate change, as well as working to ensure that Britain remains an outward-looking and welcoming nation.

Neil Thorns, CAFOD’s Director of Advocacy, said:

“It is so great to see local constituents raising their voices before the general election and making their local political representatives aware of issues that are important to them.

“Pope Francis himself warns that people living in poverty can often be an ‘afterthought’ in political discussions and that’s why it’s so important that we remind candidates of the need to remain an outward-looking nation – one that cares for the interests of people in the world’s poorest communities.

“This is why the commitment to maintaining UK support for overseas aid is crucial for saving lives and pulling people out of poverty.”

Kiera added she feels it’s important people get to grips with the details of what their parliamentary candidates are proposing. “I would encourage other people to make sure they read party manifestos, so they’re aware of the issues that will affect them,” she said.

Biggest Catholic Youth event set to light a ‘flame’ in Wembley

On 11 March, up to 10,000 Catholics will attend Flame 2017, a youth event at Weflame-poster-1-734x1024mbley arena, and share stories of faith and hope from across the world.

Young Catholics from across the country will come together for the biggest event of its kind in the UK. The theme of the day is ’10,000 reasons to hope’ based on the song by Grammy-award winning singer-songwriter Matt Redman, who will be performing at the event.

Four young leaders from Brentwood diocese, who are volunteering with aid agency CAFOD, will be attending the event and running lunchtime workshops around the themes of refugees and climate change.

During the event, CAFOD is aiming to collect 10,000 messages of hope to send to refugees around the world. This is part of a larger campaign by the charity, who have so far received over 25,000 messages from communities across England and Wales.

CAFOD youth volunteers, Leah Fox, 19, and Ryan Wilkinson, 18, will be speaking on the day about their experiences of meeting refugees in Lebanon, in hopes of inspiring the young people to act.

“I am so excited to speak at Wembley,” said Ryan, who is currently volunteering at Savio House, the Salesian retreat centre in Sheffield. “From my own personal experience, sharing messages of hope makes a massive difference and shows refugees that they are not alone.”

 

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CAFOD Young Leaders at FLAME 2015

“During these turbulent times, it is great that so many young people will be coming together for one cause,” added Leah, who is currently training to be a primary school teacher. “I hope that by sharing my story, I will encourage young people to take further action in solidarity with refugees.”

The event, organised by the Catholic Youth Ministry Federation, will also include talks by the Archbishop of Westminster Cardinal Nichols Myanmar’s first Cardinal Charles Bo, and Matt Redman.

Tickets are still available for the event which will take place on 11 March at the SSE arena in Wembley. Doors will open at 10am with the event expected to finish at 5:30pm.

Find out more at: cafod.org.uk/flame