10,000 Reasons to Hope

Forced out by war, poverty or persecution, millions of people around the world live anxious and uncertain lives as migrants and refugees. But each of us, moved by faith, can act in welcome, respect and love.

Instructions for Group Leaders:

Our aim is to collect at least 10,000 messages of hope for refugees before Flame 2017. Your young people are invited to write or draw a message of hope or commitment to refugees on the attached message sheets.

Step 1

Download one A4 message sheet for each member of your Flame group.

Step 2

Ask each group member to fill in their sheet with one message from themselves and two messages from others.

Step 3

Please send your group’s completed sheets with our attached return form to CYMFed, Romero House, 55 Westminster Bridge Road, London, SE1 7JB.

Further information:

  • Feeling creative? Decorate your message sheets or think of creative ways to collect them.
  • Feeling ambitious? Go beyond the challenge of 3 messages per group member and instead collect as many messages as you can!
  • Take photos of the messages/of your group writing them and tweet photos to @CAFOD using the hashtag #messageofhope. You may even see your photo on the big screen at Wembley!

“We ourselves need to see, and then to enable others to see, that migrants and refugees… are brothers and sisters to be welcomed, respected and loved.” – Pope Francis

Works of mercy, acts of hope

For more stories, activities and resources to use with young people on the theme of refugees go to cafod.org.uk/Education/Youth-Leaders


Sicilian carpenter Francesco Tuccio made rough crosses from the wreckage of a boat carrying refugees that sank off the island of Lampedusa. The crosses were offered to survivors as a symbol of their rescue and a sign of hope.


Tiam Ham, a refugee himself, is a volunteer chef for refugees in London with JRS. “It gives me joy to cook with love and kindness to show how much I care. Meeting different people, listening to their life stories, I find that we have a lot in common.”


In St Helens, Tom Hallsworth of Animate Youth Ministries led young people to write messages of hope and welcome to refugees. Tom presented these to his local MP, who then spoke in the House of Commons about the need to “introduce the language of compassion into this debate.”


St Mary’s church in Middlewich dedicated a Mass to refugees. “It was simple but poignant,” said CAFOD volunteer Anne Sturman. The parish also raised money for the Syria crisis appeal.