Stepping into Cambodia

Earlier this year, five young adults from CAFOD’s Step into the Gap programme were transformed when they travelled to Cambodia to see the work of CAFOD and its partners first hand.

This year’s Gappers

Hugh, Daisy, Francis, Orla and Rebecca saw the work of two CAFOD partners, Cambodian Organisation for Children’s Development (COCD) and Karuna Battambang Organisation (KBO). Inspired by some remarkable people, Orla shared that “the happiness and joy of the people has been undeniably infectious, making each encounter as beautiful as the next.” They visited a variety of agricultural projects such as chicken rearing and vegetable farming as well as Water and Sanitation projects. One project was focussed on accessing toilets safely where people wouldn’t have to journey into the jungle, another project taught school children how to wash their hands. Now back in the UK, in the face of COVID-19, it has become even more clear how important and life saving projects like these can be.

 “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 Cafferky, current participant of Step into the Gap. “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.”

Orla, Hugh and Rebecca who will be speaking on the webinar

As well as this 3 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 lock down, 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 30th April. You can register close to the time on CAFOD’s website https://cafod.org.uk/Volunteer/Online-talks.

Orla and Hugh working with local farmers to plant lettuce on one of the farms that CAFOD supports

There are still placements available for September, so if you are between 18-30 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 3 weeks and spend the year in one of our UK placements.

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