Nikki is part of the CAFOD Head Office team in London. However, she currently lives in Saltaire. So, CAFOD have agreed that she can work 3 days a week in London and spend two days a week based at the Leeds Diocese CAFOD Volunteer Centre.
Nikki writes about herself:-
“I have been living in Yorkshire for nearly a year now having moved back here from Bolivia where I spent nearly four years based in La Paz.
I first travelled and studied in Latin America in the late 90s as part of my degree and fell in love with the beautiful countryside and the people with their generous passion for music and laughter. After several years working for Christian Aid in London I moved to Colombia to work as an international observer protecting human rights defenders. I lived in a hot oil town between jungle basins and mountains, an area that has suffered decades of horrendous violence due to the Colombian civil war. Working with human rights defenders was a privilege, ordinary people doing extraordinary things to protect their communities and families at huge personal risk.
After studying for an MA at the Peace Studies Centre in Bradford University, I headed to the altitude of the Andes mountains and began working for CAFOD in Bolivia. Bolivia is one of the poorest countries in Latin America and at present we support ten local partner organisations who work with the most marginalised people. My work has always been bittersweet. On the one hand, there is the bleak harshness of the poverty that the communities face and on the other hand there is strength, ingenuity, solidarity and love. I am so lucky to witness those qualities shine in the communities and partner organisations that we work with and also here at home whenever I meet CAFOD’s amazing volunteers and supporters. “
CAFOD are thinking of organising a ‘Latin American Lunch’ to enable both CAFOD volunteers and Justice & Peace supporters to meet up with Nikki. Anyone who has spent any time in Central or Latin America would be especially welcome to add their perspective on life there – please email them at email@example.com if you might be interested in coming along to such an event.