Graduates of CAFOD’s Step into the Gap programme are inviting other young Catholics to an online webinar to explain how their lives were transformed when they travelled to Cambodia to see the charity’s work first-hand – and maybe even to follow in their footsteps.
Hugh, Daisy, Francis, Orla and Rebecca saw the work of two CAFOD partners, Cambodian Organisation for Children’s Development and Karuna Battambang Organisation and were inspired by some remarkable people.
They visited a variety of agricultural projects such as chicken rearing and vegetable farming as well as water and sanitation projects.
One project was focused on accessing toilets safely where people wouldn’t have to journey into the jungle, another taught schoolchildren how to wash their hands.
“The happiness and joy of the people has been undeniably infectious, making each encounter as beautiful as the next,” said Orla.
“Going to Cambodia was really life-changing for me, I saw how the Catholic community of England and Wales, by supporting the work of CAFOD, does really make a difference to so many people’s lives around the world.”
Hugh added: “We were so blessed to be able to spend time with the communities that CAFOD works with and to learn about their lives as well as the difference chicken rearing and other projects can make.”
As well as this three-week visit to CAFOD’s partners, the gappers spend their year in placements including youth retreat centres, university and school chaplaincies where they develop leadership skills and share their passion for social justice with the wider community.
It offers young adults between 18 and 30 the opportunity to gain new experience and inspire a generation of people to act for the poorest and most marginalised.
Now back in the UK, the gappers were hoping to return to their placements and share the stories and lessons they learnt in Cambodia but with the lockdown, the gappers are coming up with alternative ways to share about their experience.
Two of the participants would love you to join their interactive webinar: Cambodia and Step into the Gap on April 30. You can register close to the time on CAFOD’s website cafod.org.uk/Volunteer/Online-talks.
There are still placements available for September, so if you are between 18 and 30 and want to inspire others to create a fairer and more just world, then visit www.cafod.org.uk/gapyear. As part of the programme you will have the opportunity to see the work of CAFOD first-hand for three weeks and spend the year in one of our UK placements.