I particularly wanted to thank them for all their hard work earlier this year when they raised a simply staggering £2,629 for CAFOD’s Haiti appeal. Ms Griffin told me that the children had really wanted to do something to help people affected by the earthquake and so had taken part in a special keep fit event to raise as much money as they could. I then presented a special certificate to the pupils on behalf of CAFOD and took the opportunity to express our thanks to all those who organised the event. Thank you too to all the parents who sponsored their children. Thank you all so much!
During assembly I then went on to talk about Harvest Fast Day and told the story of eight year old Eric and his sister Julienne from Rwanda, who despite losing their parents, have come together with others in their village to start a successful business. Eric and his seven brothers and sisters were left to fend for themselves when their parents died but with CAFOD’s help, they are building a new life for themselves by growing and selling vegetables.
The pupils looked at some of the things that were important to Eric such as his family, his friends and his school and talked about some of the things he loved doing such as playing games and singing – many of the things they loved too!
We also discussed the different chores Eric had to do round the house, including walking into the mountains to collect water, preparing and cooking dinner and lighting all the lanterns in his house – and compared these tasks to the kinds of jobs they might carry out when they get home from school.
Ms Griffin then said that this year pupils were going to raise money to support families like Eric’s by asking for a few more jobs round the house to earn a little extra money for CAFOD. I then asked the children if they could put their hearts into it for families like Eric’s all over the world and do their best to make the world a better place.
Ending the assembly, I asked everyone what message they’d give to Eric, ‘Don’t stop believing!’ said one pupil, ‘I hope you are happy’ and ‘We’re thinking of you Eric’ said others. On the day Ms Griffin says everyone will be given a heart when they arrive early in the morning which they will lay down on the floor along with the money they’ve raised. A long line of hearts will then be made in the hall which represents the love St Mary’s has for everyone in our global family! What a great idea!
After the assembly a great line formed in front of me as each pupil told me of all the things they had done in the past for CAFOD which included washing cars at home, cleaning out the rabbit hutch and doing lots of washing up! One pupil also told me about one other time she’d raised money for CAFOD which involved sleeping on her bedroom floor for a week! They certainly are young people who put their faith into action!
Thank you to everyone I met on the day, from everyone in reception who helped me with all my equipment and were so kind, to Ms McIvor for organising the visit and to all the teachers who helped me with the laptop and put on some great music! Everyone really made me feel welcome. A special thanks to Ms Griffin for organizing so many fantastic events, displays and liturgies throughout the year. Thank you so much! What a terrific school!
For more information on Harvest Fast Day, please go to http://www.cafod.org.uk/fastday