Liverpool Universities’ Catholic Society CAFOD Launch

CS1The Liverpool Universities’ Catholic Society, known as ‘CathSoc’, recently launched new support for CAFOD.  They have actively participated in current campaigns, making young people’s voices heard,  to show solidarity and support to our brothers and sisters around the world.

CathSoc is part of the Catholic Chaplaincy and provides weekly student mass, as well as opportunities for all Liverpool students to explore and deepen their faith.

On 5th November, Emily Holland, CathSoc committee member and CAFOD volunteer, spoke at student mass to announce support for CAFOD and to invite people to get involved with their first campaign, which aimed to show solidarity with 1,000 members of the Maua community in São Paulo, Brazil, who were facing eviction from their homes.

CathSoc received over 30 signatures on their petition and took photos of individuals

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Fr Neil Ritchie showing his support for the Maua community

holding a sign stating ‘#Ficamaua’ (i.e. #StopMaua) to show their support through an online Twitter campaign.  On 21st November, it was announced that the eviction had been overturned and will not go ahead.  This was fantastic news for the Maua Community and a great way to kickstart the students’ involvement in CAFOD campaigns!

Fr Neil Ritchie, Chaplain to the Liverpool Universities, has been very supportive and enthusiastic about getting the students involved with CAFOD.  On 12th November, he supported CathSoc when they held a Power to Be card signing after mass.  With over thirty cards signed so far, and more being handed out each week, it is a wonderful effort by all.

Emily Holland said, “As students, we are generally rather limited on the funding front, but we all want to do what we can to support the global community, so CAFOD is absolutely perfect for us! The response even just for the first two campaigns has been unbelievable, with thirty signatures for the Maua community and another thirty cards signed for Power to Be.  We’re all so excited to see what else we can get involved in, and hopefully this will be the start of a long-lasting partnership between the students of Liverpool and Catholics around the world!”

Emily McIndoe, CAFOD Volunteer, said, “Part of our aim in reaching out to the Universities was to build on the concerns that students have about social justice and their abilities to build links with like-minded people over these.

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Students getting involved with the Power to Be campaign by signing cards

Many of our campaigns are so easy to get involved in and are centred around raising awareness of key issues. The students were keen to get involved and were surprised at how easy it is to do. It has been inspiring to watch how enthusiastic everyone involved has been and to see such a positive result has been fantastic! I’m excited to see what they will do in the future.”

It’s great to see the Universities getting involved with campaigning for CAFOD and it is a great demonstration of how easy it is to do.

Find out more about CAFOD Campaigns, by clicking here.

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Four Ways to Get Involved with the Power to Be campaign in Your Parish

Every child has the power to achieve great things, yet without access to electricity, the world’s children are being held back from living life to the full. Renewable energy gives children the power to break free from poverty. By supporting our Power to Be campaign, you and your parish can change lives for good.

Here are four ways to launch Power to Be in your parish:

1. Sign cards in your community

Order campaign action cards for everyone in your parish and get people to sign and send them to Melanie Robinson, the UK’s representative at the World Bank, to ask her to support renewable energy to tackle poverty, so that everyone can fulfil their God-given potential.

St Joseph’s Penketh managed to get a fantastic 253 postcards signed and sent to CAFOD. Could you do the same?

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  1. Organise a Power to Be liturgy

Invite your parish or school to pray together with our Power to Be liturgy. You can even involve the children with our new children’s liturgy resource.

  1. Spread the Word

Use our short talk and our prayers of intercession to get the word out in your parish. You can look at our organiser’s guide for more ideas.

Parishioners from St Benet’s, Netherton held a Power to Be launch evening back in June to spread the word.

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  1. Get creative

Create an eye-catching Power to Be sun display; perfect for children and adults alike!

Ursuline Primary set a great example earlier in the year, with their sun display which had promises to save energy, prayers for change and messages to the World Bank on its rays. Can you do something similar?

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We have already had some fantastic responses to our campaign, but there is still time for you to get involved and make a difference. Ged Edwards said “This is a campaign with a real focus – we really can make a difference in practical ways and it is so simple!”

Find out more here.

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

Montezuma Beach

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