Pope-ular: Sandra Iheanacho will meet up with the Holy Father and other volunteers in Portugal. Photograph: CAFOD

Pope-ular: Sandra Iheanacho will meet up with the Holy Father and other volunteers in Portugal. Photograph: CAFOD

A Hackney student is set to meet Pope Francis as part of an environmental conference held in Portugal.

Sandra Iheanacho, 21, will travel to Fátima with Catholic aid charity CAFOD to take part in a series of events about sustainability from 9-14 May.

As well as attending a mass led by the Holy Father, Iheanacho will take part in workshops about how to live more environmentally friendly lifestyles and a “walk for change” around the Portuguese town.

“When I travel to Portugal, I am looking forward to experiencing the Holy Fátima pilgrimage and to attend the Papal mass,” said Iheanacho.

“At the workshop, I am hoping to share my experience working with young people across the globe and being able to prove and persuade that although it is difficult, change can happen.”

Iheanacho will be joined by CAFOD volunteers Harriet Rees and Eleanor Margetts, and more than 100 young people from across Europe are also scheduled to attend.

The series of workshops were inspired by the Pope’s second encyclical, Laudato Si, in which Francis called for “swift and unified global action” to tackle climate change.

He wrote: “Never have we so hurt and mistreated our common home as we have in the last 200 years.”

Iheanacho added: “When I return from the workshops, I am hoping to lead talks to young people about what I learned at the workshop and assist my local community in ways they can reduce their waste.”

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