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Chester volunteer to champion global justice on gap year adventure

Siobhan Doyle is excited to be working with international development charity CAFOD

Siobhan Doyle, 22, is taking part in CAFODs Step into the Gap programme after finishing studying Spanish and International Development Studies at the University of Chester

A Chester volunteer is to dedicate a year to working alongside communities across the world when she takes part in a gap year programme run by the Catholic international development charity CAFOD.

Siobhan Doyle, 22, is taking part in CAFOD’s Step into the Gap programme after finishing studying Spanish and International Development Studies at the University of Chester.

Siobhan said: “I first heard of CAFOD through my local parish and through school. The first time I really became involved in CAFOD was in my final year of university whilst I was vice president of the Catholic Society.

“We organised several activities to raise awareness of the refugee crisis, including a pilgrimage to Rome with the Lampedusa cross – a cross made from the wreckage of refugee boats.

“This inspired me to apply for Step into the Gap so that I could put my faith into action, learn about how CAFOD works and see first-hand the impact it has on people’s lives in developing countries.”

Siobhan will be based at Newman University in Birmingham, volunteering in the chaplaincy team and working alongside the local community. While there, she will work alongside staff and students to raise awareness of global justice. She will also make an international trip to meet some of the communities that CAFOD works alongside.

Siobhan Doyle, 22 (right) with other members of CAFODs Step into the Gap programme

Siobhan continued: “I am so passionate about global justice and I am really looking forward to raising awareness of the amazing work CAFOD does and promote its values.

“I hope that through taking part in Step into the Gap I will be able to play a small part in raising awareness of the challenges people face in the developing world.”

Siobhan is planning to raise awareness of the charity’s work by arranging an event around the upcoming Harvest Appeal, which will see communities across England and Wales hold fundraising events throughout October.

The annual fundraising campaign this year focuses on communities in El Salvador. By working alongside communities and local charities overseas, CAFOD is enabling farmers to learn sustainable farming techniques, women to set up small businesses and urban communities to cope with the violence and build peace.

At the beginning of next year, some of the gap year volunteers will travel to El Salvador to meet some of these communities. Others will travel to Sierra Leonne and Nicaragua to meet local partner charities.

Bridget Fenwick, CAFOD representative in Chester, said: “It’s fantastic that Siobhan has chosen to join our community and show her faith in a demonstrable way; we are really looking forward to the year ahead and can’t wait to see all the amazing things she achieves.”

Find out more at: cafod.org.uk/harvest

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