Harriet represents CAFOD North Wales at environmental conference attended by Pope Francis

Harriet Rees prepares for her visit to Portugal to meet Pope Francis

Harriet Rees prepares for her visit to Portugal to meet Pope Francis

A Flint volunteer is travelling to a sustainability summer camp in Portugal where she will meet Pope Francis and help create shifts to more sustainable lifestyles.

From 9-14 May, Harriet Rees, 20, a Geography student from Flint, North Wales, will travel to Fatima, Portugal with CAFOD to attend a workshop, inspired by Pope Francis’ environmental letter, Laudato Si’.

The three-day international workshop will include sessions on how to better live together, farm work, a ’walk for change’ around Fatima and a mass led by Pope Francis.

Harriet was inspired to apply to attend the conference after studying climate change as part of her degree. “After studying the topic in my degree, I realised there is a need for change, urgently,” said Harriet.

“My religion helps me to understand the impacts of climate change on the world’s most vulnerable communities and urges me to help.”

The event will be attended by over 100 youth representatives aged 18-30, from Slovakia, Spain, Belgium, Canada, France and Portugal.

“In Portugal, I am really looking forward to the Papal Mass, being educated on sustainable living and meeting other young people who are passionate about the climate. I want to encourage the other people there to take action, and share that each individual person’s actions contribute to combating climate change.”

Following the workshop, the delegates hope that their experience will allow them to raise awareness about climate change, sustainable living and share how local communities can make a difference.

When returning from the workshop Harriet hopes to: “educate others within my community on the importance of living sustainably, and how to do so. I also hope to meet my local MP and find out what is being done about climate change in my local community.”

This experience will be followed by a similar camp, held in Belgium in July where further CAFOD representatives will be present.

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

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