Young Leaders at St Joseph’s College Make a Splash!


A team of eleven Sixth Form students from St Joseph’s College, in Reading have organised an impressive range of events since September as part of the CAFOD Youth Leadership Programme!  Jenny Bates, a member of the team, told us more:

“The young leadership experience began for us in October, and since then we’ve been organising a number of charitable events for CAFOD.  As part of the programme we’ve taken part in social action days at a number of different schools, learnt how to make speeches, built on our communication skills and been motivated to raise awareness and money for CAFOD through the ‘Make A Splash’ campaign!

“We started off this year with a walk around the university lake nearby our school to raise money and awareness for World AIDS Day. We also wore an item of red and donated money to help CAFOD partners working with people affected by HIV and AIDS overseas.  Teachers also included a World AIDS Day starter in their lessons to raise awareness of the issue.

“This Lent, Alyssa Fenandes spoke about CAFOD’s water and sanitation programmes at her local parish to raise awareness of the appeal and, after hearing about the “Make A Splash” campaign through one of the CAFOD young leadership social action days, we decided we wanted to do a range of creative and fun events to raise money and awareness.St Joseph's College

“Firstly, we set up a CAFOD donations tube located in the main stairwell of the school. Students wrote poems and prayers related to water on blue paper water droplets and these now decorate the outside of the tube.  The inside of the tube is filling up with students’ and teachers’ spare change.

“We then had a cake sale at a staff coffee morning which was a great success. We’ve made over £70 and over 40 people attended.

“We’re now organising a ‘Swimathon’ for pupils and aim to swim the distance the average woman in Uganda walks to collect water, or more!! Hopefully this will take place after Easter.

St Joseph's College Lenten Lunch

Staff support the special Lenten lunches last Friday!

“As it is the Year of Mercy, St Joseph’s College also have a whole school assembly coming up in the next few weeks which is based on the theme of mercy.  And finally we’re hoping to get involved at a local primary school to increase awareness of CAFOD to a younger age group.”


“We’ve thoroughly enjoying standing in solidarity with our brothers and sisters worldwide!  We’ve even set up our own Instagram (CAFOD_SJCR) and Twitter accounts to let people know what we’re doing!”


As Jenny said,

“We’d really recommend this young leadership programme as it’s been an incredible learning experience!”

Thank you so much to the fantastic young leaders and all the staff at St Joseph’s College for helping our partners ‘Make a Splash’ this Lent for thousands of people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zimbabwe, and Uganda.

Find out more about CAFOD’s work in Uganda by watching our short film of below:

Has this inspired you to run your own fundraising event?  Take a look at our host of fundraising ideas and ‘how to guides’ and don’t forget – all proceeds from events like these right up to 9 May will have double the impact this year because we have once again successfully secured UK Aid Match Funding. This means the UK government will match pound for pound every donation made to our Lenten appeal – up to the value of £3.5M.  Terrific!

Find out more about CAFOD’s Lent Fast Day appeal.


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