Midlands twins embark on charity projects in Africa and Asia

Updated on: 20/01/2017

Two twin sisters from Herefordshire will set off for Africa and Asia this month as part of an ambitious charity project.

The pair are participating in The Catholic Agency for Overseas Development’s (CAFOD) Step into the Gap scheme, which enables young people to spend a year volunteering in the UK and visiting CAFOD partners overseas.

Charlotte Bray will be heading to Cambodia and her identical sister Sophie will travel to Ethiopia to meet some of the local organisations CAFOD works with to deliver development, conservation and education projects.

Charlotte, who has been based at Newman University since September, said: "As you can imagine, I am extremely excited to begin what I hope will be a truly inspirational, transformative experience.

"In Cambodia, I will work alongside local communities and get to participate in activities such as rehabilitating community lakes and preparing land.

"I hope I will be able to use the experience to raise awareness and work towards making a difference."

Charlotte has been working with staff and students at Newman University to raise awareness of global justice. In October, she arranged for a group of students from Newman University to join a ‘Walk of Witness’ march into Birmingham to show solidarity with refugees during the Conservative Party Conference, which was held at the city’s International Convention Centre.

She also delivered aid to the ‘Jungle’ refugee camp in Calais.

"The French police were using tear gas at the time so weren’t able to go into the camp as planned but at least we were able to get the aid we had collected to people who needed it," she said.

Sophie has been volunteering at The Briars in Nottingham, helping to host retreats for young people and to organise outreach projects in the local community.

"I am pleased to have a small part to play in helping bring about social justice," she said.

"While in Ethiopia, I will be visiting various HIV and AIDS projects, and getting involved with community music and art classes. I look forward to witnessing the passion and drive CAFOD’s partners have for the work they are doing there."

Founded in 1960, CAFOD is the official aid agency of the Catholic Church in England and Wales. Newman University has been offering placements to CAFOD’s Step into the Gap participants since 2014.

 Pictured above: Step Into the Gap volunteers (Charlotte Bray end left, Sophie Bray back row and second from the right)

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