Ursuline Primary pupils give children across the world the ‘Power to Be’

Recently we’ve been visiting schools and parishes to share the news of CAFOD’s Power to Be campaign, which believes that every child can, and should be able to, achieve great things.

One in six people across the world live with no electricity and so we are calling on the World Bank’s UK representative, Melanie Robinson, to pledge investment into local, renewable energy that can transform lives.

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Ursuline Primary School in Crosby is one of the schools taking part in our new Power to Be campaign.

Pupils from years 3 and 5 learnt how renewable energy can transform the lives of children and their communities in the world’s poorest places. By making impressive giant suns with messages to the World Bank and praying for children to gain access to electricity so that they can reach their full potential, the children enjoyed learning about Power to Be and engaged well with the messages being taught.

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The children also made promises to save energy in the future and thought about the ways in which they could make a difference in their homes and schools.

Ged Edwards, a local CAFOD representative, said: “It’s great to hear how well the children from Ursuline Primary School did in the Power to Be activities, and that they were thinking of ways that they could help to save energy in their own lives.  They should be proud of themselves – what a magnificent display they made!”

Find out more about CAFOD’s Power to Be campaign

Power to Be in Penketh!

On Sunday 9th July, before and after mass, members of the CAFOD group at St Joesph’s in Penketh, organised a signing of Power to be cards. On what turned out to be a sunny day the group managed to have 253 postcards filled in and sent to CAFOD, a fantastic effort.

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Maria Baker and Gordon and Kate Moss, members of the CAFOD group encouraging parishioners to sign the Power to Be cards. Incidentally, Gordon took part in the Wirral walk recently and raised a total of £1,230 for CAFOD.

“Power to Be” is a CAFOD Campaign which calls on Melanie Robinson, the UK’s representative at the World Bank, to support renewable energy, which tackles poverty, so everyone can have the chance to fulfil their God-given potential.

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Parishioners signing CAFOD’s Power to Be cards

The campaign has been supported by Archbishop Malcolm who said “I’m delighted to support CAFOD’s campaign to the World Bank which will enable children in the poorest places to access the education they deserve and to aspire to a brighter future.”

Archbishop Malcolm McMahon signed his card for the Power to be Campaign

Archbishop Malcolm, getting involved by signing a card.

You can watch Sarah Croft, CAFOD’s Campaigns manager talking about Power to Be and Live Simply by clicking here

You can find out more about Power to Be by clicking here

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A parishioner signing a card.

If you would like to receive campaign action cards to share in your parish or school, please order them online by clicking here or by calling 0300 011 5680.  For further information, contact the CAFOD Liverpool Volunteer Centre on 0151 228 4028 or email liverpool@cafod.org.uk

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Costa Rica and the Importance of Renewable Energy around the World

The importance of renewable energy has had a persistent presence on social media and in the news in the past few years, accompanied by ominous but important warnings of the consequences of continuing fossil fuel reliance. For me personally, it is something that has been a key focus in the past few months, through promoting CAFOD’s current Power to Be campaign and having recently returned from Costa Rica, one of the most environmentally friendly countries in the world.

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The edge of the Arenal Lake in La Fortuna, Costa Rica. The lake was created by the construction of a hydroelectric dam, which provides 12% of the country’s electricity.

My name is Emily and I began volunteering with the CAFOD Liverpool Office earlier this year as a campaigns volunteer during the final year of my history degree at the University of Liverpool. I decided to volunteer because of the more general reasons; wanting to make a more direct contribution to the local community and raising awareness of the bigger global issues through campaigning, but more specifically I was particularly interested in how organisations like CAFOD interact with both governments and communities around the world. Through my dissertation research into the way in which the US government prioritised its aid and the impact this had on the lives of ordinary Salvadoran citizens, the importance of the work of organisations like CAFOD to people in the poorest parts of the world became inescapably obvious and was one of the main reasons that I decided to volunteer with CAFOD in particular.

 

I recently spent several weeks travelling through Central America and in Costa Rica more specifically. One of the main things I noticed was that everywhere I went in Costa Rica, even in the most remote places, there were constant reminders of the country’s environmental outlook and renewable energy targets. These included everything from the little things, like signs on every single toilet detailing what not to flush and eco-

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One of the several art installations made from recycled materials in San Jose, Costa Rica.

friendly shower systems, to the more obvious, such as the solar panels on most buildings across the county. In 2015, Costa Rica broke the record for the most days without using fossil fuels to generate power, reaching 75 consecutive days at the beginning of the year. In 2016 it managed to use 98% clean energy for its total power consumption throughout the year and the government has claimed that the country hopes to be carbon neutral by 2021. This is a substantial achievement and a definite victory for the environment, made even more impressive when compared with countries such as the USA, which only managed to use 15% renewable energy in 2016. The benefits of these environmental policies are also clear to see; the air is noticeably cleaner than I’ve ever experienced before and signs of climate change aren’t nearly as obvious as they are elsewhere.

 

Costa Rica provides an excellent example of the environmental benefits of focusing on renewable energy, whilst CAFOD’s current Power to Be campaign highlights the other side; the transformation of people’s lives that is possible through improving access to renewable energy in the world’s poorest places. Nearly one in six people don’t have access to electricity, yet renewable energy resources are sufficient enough to potentially supply the world’s energy demands. It is estimated that wider energy access would improve literacy rates, education and generally improve the quality of life for an incredibly large proportion of people. Given that connecting to energy grids fuelled by fossil fuels is so expensive in many poorer countries, increasing access to renewable energy would not only be better for the environment, but would make a significant impact on the lives of nearly a billion people.

 

The focus on renewable energy is also present at home in the UK, a big part of CAFOD’s LiveSimply award, which encourages communities to show how they have been living sustainably with creation, as well as living simply and solidarity with people in poverty. By encouraging communities to live sustainably with creation, CAFOD encourages the

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Montezuma Beach, Costa Rica. A beautiful example of how the government’s commitment to clean energy helps to preserve the natural environment.

use of small cleaner energy resources, such as solar panels, among other initiatives such as recycling and reducing their carbon footprint. The centrality of renewable energy to a variety of CAFOD projects, both globally as well as at home, together with the commitment of governments in Costa Rica and 47 other developing countries that have committed to becoming 100% reliant on renewable energy, demonstrates that total reliance on renewable, cleaner energy is becoming a much more realistic goal.

Get involved with CAFOD’s campaigns

Written by Emily McIndoe, CAFOD Liverpool volunteer

CAFOD supporters in Liverpool start their Power to Be campaign

We believe that every child can, and should be able to, achieve great things. But with one in six people still living with no electricity, the reality is that this isn’t always the case.  But with investment into local, renewable energy, children’s lives can be transformed.

 

Volunteers from Holy Name and Our Lady and St Philomena kickstart their Power to be card signing

Volunteers from Holy Name and Our Lady and St Philomena, Fazakerley, kickstart their Power to be card signing

In our latest campaign, Power to be, we are encouraging schools and parishes in the Liverpool Archdiocese to speak up and give children across the world the ‘Power to be’ by signing CAFOD’s campaign action cards.

The cards are part of a petition which calls on Melanie Robinson, the UK’s representative in the World Bank, to invest in local and renewable energy which tackles poverty.

Nearly 90 per cent of people without electricity live in villages. It can be expensive and difficult to extend the main grid to homes, schools and clinics in rural areas. The cheapest, fastest, and most efficient solution is usually to provide mini-grids powered by renewables.

Parishioners from St Benet's kickstarted their Power to be Campaign at a CAFOD evening in June

Parishioners from St Benet’s, Netherton, kickstarted their Power to be Campaign at a CAFOD evening in June

By taking our Power to Be campaign action cards into your local parishes and schools, and by sharing them with your friends, pupils and families, you can help to make a difference.

Those in the Liverpool Archdiocese are already showing their support for the campaign, including Archbishop Malcolm McMahon.

Archbishop Malcolm said, “I’m delighted to support CAFOD’s campaign to the World Bank which will enable children in the poorest places to access the education they deserve and to aspire to a brighter future.”

Archbishop Malcolm McMahon signed his card for the Power to be Campaign

Archbishop Malcolm McMahon signed his card for the Power to be Campaign

You can also use this opportunity to Speak Up about climate change at this year’s Week of Action from 1-9 July.  Take a card, gather your friends and meet with your newly elected local MP’s to show that you care about energy access for the world’s poorest people.

If you would like to receive campaign action cards to share in your parish or school, please order them online or call 0300 011 5680.  For further information, contact the CAFOD Liverpool Volunteer Centre on 0151 228 4028 or email liverpool@cafod.org.uk

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