Sophie Hull, who is taking part in CAFOD’s Step into the Gap Programme, tells us about her hopes for the upcoming trip to Ethiopia.
I am so excited to be travelling to Ethiopia in the next couple of weeks to meet CAFOD’s partners and projects they work with. I am really looking forward to visiting Trocaire and SCIAF, who work with CAFOD in Ethiopia, and seeing how they work together. I look forward to witnessing the passion and drive they have for the work they are doing in Ethiopia and how they are putting their faith into action for a “Just World”.
I will arrive in the capital, Addis Ababa, and be in the heart of Ethiopia. This will be incredible, as I’ll be able to understand Ethiopia as a whole. Meeting with the communities there and being a part of their daily life and culture will be an experience that I can share at home, and that we are a part of the people in Ethiopia that we meet.
Over the two and a half weeks I will see four diverse projects. One of the projects is responding to the Ethiopia Food Crisis, and facilitating drought recovery, where I will be able to see how they manage with disasters in rural communities in Northern Ethiopia, which are caused by climate change.
Before starting volunteering with CAFOD, I was never engaged with, or aware of climate change. CAFOD has really opened my eyes. I will be taking green hearts to give to the emergency projects as part of the “change for climate change” campaign where I asked sixth form students to write pledges to help to climate change. I am really looking forward to handing over the climate pledges to the emergency and drought recovery projects, to connect the love and care of our common home.
Another project I will be visiting is a project run by The Daughters of Charity. The project provides services in order to keep children off the streets, including access to education.
I can’t wait to share the music and art and crafts I do with the primary children in my placement and experience the different music and arts and crafts they do.
Daughters of Charity also run HIV/AIDS projects which offer counselling and awareness. This is the project that I am most interested in because it is something completely different to the projects I have been involved with, in my previous travels, and something I never thought I would have the opportunity to see. To be able to hear about what the project does and possibly meet people living with HIV and Aids and the support they have received through CAFOD’s partners, will be uplifting and give me a sense of hope, and truly demonstrate that CAFOD supporters are really contributing to allowing people to live an independent and fulfilling life.
I am so excited to be staying with Daughters of charity congregation and to hear about their experiences, the people they work with, and why they decided to be a part of their congregation. I am also excited to share part of my time in Ethiopia with this inspirational group and to share the experiences of my trip with them.