Pupils from Blessed Hugh Faringdon secondary school in Reading are the latest addition to the list of schools in our Diocese that took part in our Get down to business campaign. Our local volunteer Linda Heneghan visited them a few weeks ago to run the campaign session with them.
The students had the opportunity to reflect on the role of small businesses in developing countries and how crucial a part they can play in lifting people out of poverty. They then wrote their personal messages to Andrew Mitchell, Secretary of State for International Development, asking him to prioritise the needs of small businesses when deciding spending priorities for UK aid. Their messages, which have now been forwarded to HQ, will be part of the big “hand in” of cards and messages that will take place in September.
Linda said: “When we think of business, the first things to spring to mind are the massive corporations like Nike or Apple. We don’t think of the smaller businesses overseas such as the marketplace stall owners in Bangladesh or the coffee farmers in Ethiopia, yet the vast majority of businesses in developing countries are made up of these small scale farmers, artisans and local entrepreneurs. Small businesses play such a crucial part in tackling poverty. We’re asking the government to use the UK’s existing development aid to support more small businesses, and prioritise them in the decisions and policies they make. For example, by investing in the training and education of business-owners; building roads in rural areas so that producers can reach markets; or helping people to organise into groups or cooperatives, so that they can have a bigger voice in decision-making.”
Mrs Amieiro, Head of RE at Blessed Hugh Faringdon, added:
“I think this is a great way to really stand in solidarity with communities around the world. The students learned how small businesses provide a way for people to raise their income, improve their lives and regain their dignity. But they also learned that small businesses face particular risks due to their size.
Each student had the opportunity to write a short letter to the International Development Secretary, Andrew Mitchell, and take part in the national campaign. We look forward to working with CAFOD again in the near future.”
Thank you so much to Linda for delivering the session, and to Mrs Amiero and all the students at Blessed Hugh Faringdon for their support and for taking part in the campaign! We have already collected over 10,000 messages nationally but there are still a few weeks to go (until the end of the month) to make maximum impact! So every postcard and message is indeed very important! Thanks a lot everyone 🙂