Pupils at St Joseph’s primary in Bracknell have been digging deep this Lent with CAFOD. CAFOD Education Volunteer Matt White, visited the school to thank the pupils, parents and staff for their very generous donation of £188.08 for our Philippines Typhoon Haiyan Appeal and give a Lenten assembly about CAFOD’s work in Sierra Leone.
Matt talked to the pupils about 8 year old Morlai who lives with his mum and dad, his 4 sisters & brothers and 6 other members of his extended family in a village in Sierra Leone.
The only land around Morlai’s village is swampland where people used to mine diamonds in these swamps but, as Matt explained, it’s very difficult to make enough money by mining for diamonds as you may only find one – if you’re lucky– in a number of weeks so Morlai’s Dad (Abdul) has been trained by our partners to grow rice in the swampland.
Abdul can now grow enough rice to feed his family. When Morlai was younger he often did not have enough to eat butnow that Morlai’s dad has been taught how to grow rice in the swampland, the family has enough food to feed everyone in their household. When the family have extra rice they sell it and this money helps to pay for Morlai to go to school.
The children then thought about the idea of treasure and how rice is in fact a treasure as it enables Morlai to go to school and learn. Matt then asked the children to think about their ‘treasures’ such as their families, friends, kindness and generosity – which you can see from the lovely photo at the top of this blog.
Jesus talked about treasures when he said we should put our faith and trust in God and not in material things. He talked of treasure being inside ourselves and other people seeing these treasures by the way we behave.
This Lent, Matt explained that CAFOD is asking us all to dig deep into their hearts and think about what we can do to let everyone see our treasures. How can we change to be the best person we can be? How can we be a better friend? What can we do to help those we love at home?
Like Morlai and his family are digging deep in the soil to grow rice, we can also all dig deep and think about the gifts and talents we have to help us build a better world where everyone has what they need to flourish.
Thank you so much to Matt for giving the assembly and all the staff, parents and children for their brilliant support. We really appreciate it.
A great film on CAFOD’s work in Sierra Leone can also be found here: