Emily’s Volunteering at CAFOD

Hello to all!

My name is Emily and I am a student from the University of Chester currently on a 5 week placement with the CAFOD Shrewsbury team. I thought I’d use my blogging privileges to tell you a bit about myself and my journey so far with CAFOD.

I am a second year student studying Sociology with International Development Studies (BSc) which is a course that is all about understanding people – how we communicate, how our societies are structured – and looking at the challenges faced by the global community – food insecurity, water scarcity & poverty to name a few.

I first became involved with CAFOD during my first year at university when I was helping out at the university ‘Food Matters’ conference all about Food Security. In the afternoon session I was assigned as the scribe during a presentation on the role of female farmers in the developing world given by Sue from CAFOD Shrewsbury. I enjoyed the session so much that I got chatting to Sue afterwards and asked if I might be able to start volunteering with them at the local office. As they say the rest is history and I began volunteering there for a few hours every Monday morning.

Over a year later I have benefitted from Sue and Liz’s vast and helpful knowledge on a number of international development topics including on how aid works, the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Disaster responses from NGOs – I even had a session with Liz on graph drawing 2 weeks before I had an exam which included drawing a graph!

Needless to say I am definitely pleased to be here for more of an extended time period as volunteering here has been invaluable to me and my degree. Often it is not just a one way process and I am able to share my own knowledge with Sue & Liz too – you may have already noticed the Twitter (@CAFODShrewsbury) has been more active since I arrived!

I would recommend volunteering to everybody as you never know what you might learn and what experiences you will have. Even if you can only give a few hours a week/month you know that you have still been helpful and made a difference in that time for the people around you.

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