Education Volunteer Kath Oldham visited the pupils and staff at St Joseph’s in Newbury this Lent to thank them for all their fantastic support for CAFOD and to talk about our work in Sierra Leone. On arrival she found this beautiful display board that we had to share with you. The leaves denote everything the school will do to ‘Dig Deep’ this Lent including ‘giving’ ‘fundraising’ ‘prayer’ ‘repentance’ ‘preparation’ and ‘making changes’.
During her assembly, Kath 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 but now 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. Kath then asked the children to think about their ‘treasures’ such as their families, friends, kindness and generosity.
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, Kath 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 Kath 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: