On Tuesday 11 February the Theology Department welcomed CAFOD (The Catholic Agency for Overseas Development) to Woldingham for the day.
The Sixth Form listened to an engaging talk from Sophie, who had taken part in CAFOD’s ‘Step in to the Gap’ programme. Sophie told them about the opportunities this gap year programme had given her, both working in the UK and travelling overseas to learn more about CAFOD’s work. A particular highlight was hearing about Sophie’s adventures in El Salvador and Nicaragua. Student learnt about the ways in which people in El Salvador are supported, through CAFOD’s partners, to improve their lives. We heard about the family who make the Romero Crosses, in memory of Archbishop Oscar Romero who was assassinated during the civil war in El Salvador, that can now be found around school. It was truly astonishing to hear the range of works that the money donated to CAFOD supports.
This was followed by a workshop for Year 10 on Catholic Social Teaching that complements the GCSE Religious Studies course. Through discussion and evaluation of quotes, the girls discovered how catholic social teaching is present not just in the Bible and Catechism but also within popular culture. Having identified the catholic social teaching with Biblical sources they were then challenged to think of ways in which teachings, such as solidarity and preferential option for the poor, can be put into action.
In the afternoon Year 7 took part in a group introduction to the work of CAFOD and a short liturgy, before splitting in half to take part in two workshops. One workshop delved into the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Children and what life is like without access to these rights. Girls were encouraged to discuss how they are benefitting from these rights, their importance and how CAFOD is working to ensure children around the world have these rights. In the other workshop, the girls then took part the ‘life without taps’ activity, which helped them understand the challenges and difficulties are faced in some parts of the world in obtaining water. The girls were split into small ‘families’ and given the challenge of making buckets with which to collect water. The girls soon learnt that there are many obstacles in water-poor countries that can make day to day life extremely difficult. In the debrief the girls were given the challenge of finding one way in which to share the message about the importance of water and committing to taking one action that will reduce their own water usage.
Mr Adrian Ross, Head of Theology