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Greetings from the UK!

Meet the ‘Step into the Gap’ members of CAFOD’s young adult delegation to Glasgow for COP26! CAFOD’s 36-person young adult delegation will be coming together in Glasgow to take part in the Global Day of Action over the middle weekend of COP. Here the eight ‘Step into the Gap’ volunteers tell us why they are looking forwards to mobilizing in Glasgow and the importance of calling for climate justice during this year’s UN climate talks.  

🎙️ What brought you together as a group/ delegation? 

Our world is steeped in injustice and the climate crisis is the epitome of this. We recognize this injustice and want to do something about it – which is why we are taking a year out to volunteer full time with CAFOD and to join this delegation as part of it. By bearing witness to the COP26 process, we want to make a strong statement as young people coming together for future generations, calling on our world leaders to act now as if we are in an emergency – because we are. We are ready to take an active step out of our comfort zones in order for real change, knowing that it will be a process of self-discovery and growth for each of us too. We each have a passion for cultivating new skills to have rewarding experiences, through learning from each other and those around the world. We see this international delegation as an opportunity to enact our shared faith, to bring about Pope Francis’ inspiring vision for our world, the church, young people and those who will follow us.   

🎙️ Who are the components of your delegation? 

We are CAFOD’s 2021-22 ‘Step into the Gap’ volunteers – a year-long programme dedicated to reaching out to young people in various settings whilst volunteering for global justice, an end to poverty and for the dignity of all. Aged from 18 to 25, we are excited and honoured to be CAFOD’s delegation to COP26 with CIDSE, each bringing our own skills, talents and passions in the pursuit for climate justice.  

Some of the CAFOD young supporters participating to the COP24 climate march in Katowice (2018)

🎙️ How are you getting ready for COP26? 

We’ll be getting ready for COP26 by building connections online with our fellow international young supporters in the lead up to COP in November, through learning from one another on Zoom calls and webinars. We also plan to educate others, spreading awareness across our own social media platforms and in schools by doing CAFOD’s ‘Eyes of the World’ campaign – by encouraging young people to get creative and craft their own messages to world leaders for the change they want to see at COP26. We want to be a voice for these children and young people across England and Wales, and especially those across the world who cannot attend COP26, so we will listen to their stories and amplify them, building solidarity for change. For some of us, we want to read (or re-read) Laudato Si by Pope Francis and explore Catholic Social Teaching (a key focus for our year), reflecting how this calls us to engage with the COP process for a global shift to a more just and sustainable world. Finally, whilst we prepare our placards and banners, we are praying for spiritual guidance for the negotiators and leaders, getting excited for this momentous moment and, most importantly, remaining hopeful. Oh, and packing our wholly hats! 

🎙️ In a sentence, how would you describe your delegation vibes/ atmosphere? 

Wow, well we are.. committed young people, caring, dedicated, determined, versatile, passionate, friendly, united with one another, angry at the inaction of our government this far but profoundly hopeful and faithful!  

We hope to introduce you to more of CAFOD’s young adult delegation in the coming weeks, following their journey to COP26 and how they will maintain the momentum beyond these crucial climate talks.   

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