One of our newest education volunteers shares his experiences

PHOTO_Mike Coyle

Michael Coyle went on his first school visit on behalf of CAFOD to St Joseph’s School in Tredegar.

This was Michael’s first visit since completing his CAFOD training in April and he told us that he thoroughly enjoyed the experience. He led an assembly in the school in front of 94 pupils aged 5-11 and spoke about global justice and the World Cup in Brazil.

Michael said, “I found the most rewarding part of the visit to be the interaction with the young people. I was struck by how thoughtful and sensitive they were to the issues we were discussing. They were far more perceptive than I imagined they would be.”

The assembly focused on issues including justice and fairness. Michael included some willing volunteers in the assembly by bringing some young people up on stage for a demonstration. Two young people were chosen who had been praised by teachers for their hard work, one was given a prize of 5 sweets and the other was given just 1 sweet. The aim of this was to show in simple terms examples of fairness. However things didn’t go quite as planned with one of the boys declaring that even though he got 5 he did not want them as he did not like the sweets! The lesson Michael learned was to be careful which children you choose to help out with demonstrations! He also found out how making people laugh can have a great effect on an audience.

Michael said, “Even though I am a trained media person and am used to talking in front of an audience this was different. This experience showed me how important it is to relax in front of an audience of young people. If you aren’t relaxed then they won’t relax. The material I was given made this easy to do as the background materials were fantastic.”

Michael has more visits lined up including St Helens in Caerphilly and St Gabriel and St Raphael in Tonypandy.

We currently have a group of education volunteers who are looking to come in and deliver assemblies or presentations on the World Cup in Brazil and we also have a CAFOD gap year volunteer, Eleanor, who is available to talk about her experiences in Sierra Leone.

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