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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Flame 2019: Interactive photo exhibition connects Catholic youth with climate leaders around the globe

Young people attending Flame 2019 at the SSE Arena, Wembley, had the experience of seeing CAFOD projects in Peru coming to life through the charity’s new and interactive augmented reality exhibition.

The exhibition was launched at Flame 2019 in sessions run by teams of CAFOD’s young leaders around England and Wales.

Attendees saw the experiences of Lima’s changemakers brought to life in the exhibition, which allowed UK-based young people to step into the Peruvian change makers’ worlds.

Young people like Jean-Pierre, 10, featured in the photographs to illustrate their passions. Jean-Pierre attends a homework club where he is learning how to grow plants and looking after a garden.

Peru’s capital, Lima, is the second largest desert city in the world. It’s a vibrant city, but Lima also faces many challenges like the impact of climate change and melting glaciers which mean that the city is running out of water.

Flame attendees were able to see the change makers of Lima taking on these challenges through iPads. They witnessed them defending the land and protecting the earth, speaking up for their rights and fighting for water. They were inspired as they witnessed the young people in Lima planting seeds of hope and building the future.

Francis Hillen, a 22-year-old CAFOD volunteer based at the Soli Centre for Youth Ministry who was helping to lead the activities at lunch time, said: “I came to Flame last year with CAFOD and enjoyed it a lot. I was excited to be there again this year. It’s always really fun and it’s great to share the experience with young people who might not have been involved in CAFOD’s work before!”

CAFOD’s new director, Christine Allen, attended Flame 2019, adding: “It’s brilliant for CAFOD to be a part of Flame 2019 and great for young people to be able to speak to the huge amounts of CAFOD volunteers who were representing us on the day.

“CAFOD’s work with young people helps us to build a future for the church and it’s so powerful for young people to be able to put their faith into action in this way. It was inspiring to hear young people at Flame speak, to hear them making a noise and getting involved.

“The theme of the day was significance. We explored what that means on so many levels, whether it be personally or in how we can be a much more significant church. CAFOD is a brilliant expression of significance. It gives people here in England and Wales the chance to help make a difference by working in partnership with people around the world. Together, this is truly significant.”

CAFOD is funding local experts to work with and support the young people featured in the exhibition as they change the future of their communities.

Find out more about CAFOD at Flame 2019:

Picture: CAFOD volunteers in front of the exhibition at Flame. (CAFOD).