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

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

Liverpool’s Thanksgiving Event for Volunteers – 10th June

On Saturday 10 June, CAFOD volunteers from the Archdiocese of Liverpool came together to celebrate their achievements in an afternoon full of events, cake and friendship.

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One of the delicious cakes on offer

The afternoon began with tea and cake, made by the staff and volunteers, and we were asked to discuss our highlights of volunteering for CAFOD with the person next to us.

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We heard from volunteers from across the diocese, some of whom were schools’ volunteers and parish volunteers from their local CAFOD groups.  There was such a huge mix of activities that people take part in for CAFOD: from beetle drives to giving talks in schools, from selling fair trade goods to holding collections after Mass… It is inspiring to see such variety and we are grateful for it all!

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Every Christmas, Elizabeth takes part in the Liverpool Fun Run for CAFOD in fancy dress… Past costumes include a ‘Christmas pudding’ and last year, Jesus, who gave out books to the children who were attending the run!

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Justine is CAFOD Liverpool’s Education Volunteer Co-ordinator who goes into local schools to spread the word of CAFOD and the various campaigns we run. She is always looking to make the experience for schools and volunteers the best it can be, sharing her thoughtful reflections on poverty and justice, and inspiring volunteers and children and young people with her work.

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Bernie (left) and Justine (Right)

After we shared our highlights, Weronika from CAFOD’s Latin America team gave us a talk about the Connect2 programme and specifically Connect2 Peru.  It was great to see the hand of friendship that local parishes are extending through this programme and the rewards that both sides see from being involved.

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Weronika

We had a wonderful afternoon together and it was great to be able to celebrate our volunteers in the Liverpool diocese and share and inspire us all with the brilliant stories!

Thank you!

Meet Our Volunteer – Justine Silcock

We would like to say thank you to Justine, CAFOD Liverpool’s Education Volunteer Co-ordinator. She took on this role in 2015 as an already experienced education volunteer for CAFOD. Since taking up the role she has worked tirelessly to support CAFOD’s work in schools in the diocese and the effort she has put in is truly awe-inspiring. Even since taking on the extra role, she has visited over 30 schools!

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Justine (Right) with Rt Hon Dr Liam Fox (Centre) and CAFOD Liverpool Volunteer Pat Boyle (Left).

She has worked hard in supporting a new team of education volunteers, from recruitment and training to supporting them in their independent school visits. She has also worked with schools, building up strong relationships and their understanding of CAFOD.

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On a school visit.

She is always looking to make the experience for schools and volunteers the best it can be, sharing her thoughtful reflections on poverty and justice, and inspiring volunteers and children and young people with her work.

She is also currently the co-chair of the Liverpool Archdiocesan Justice and Peace Commission.

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You Are Invited To Our Volunteers’ Thank You Celebration!

We would like to invite you to join us on Saturday 10th June 2017 for a Special Volunteer Thank You Celebration as part of volunteers’ week.

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We will be meeting at St Batholomew’s Parish Centre in Rainhill (L35 6NY).

Doors open at 2pm for a 2.30pm start, and we expect to finish at around 5pm, after which there is the option of attending the 5.15pm Vigil Mass.

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There will be an opportunity to look back over the past year, and an input from Weronika Ozerianska from CAFOD’s Latin America team who is newly back from visiting the Connect2 Peru communities!

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Join us so we can express our gratitude for your hard work, and hear how your support is helping our brothers and sisters in the world’s poorest countries!

Please RSVP to Colette and Ged at CAFOD Liverpool on 0151 228 4028 or liverpool@cafod.org.uk

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