This week, pupils at St Paul’s primary in Portsmouth have been thinking about what they might ‘cut out’ this Lent in order to be better neighbours to all of creation.
Education Volunteer, Maureen Thompson visited the school today to share a story in assembly about how the changing climate has affected two families, one in England and one in Myanmar in Asia.
Firstly the children heard about 11 year old Lucy from Reading whose house was flooded last year as a result of continuous rainfall. Lucy and her family are now thinking about how they can keep themselves and their belongings safe if another flood happens. They’re also campaigning to clear the brook of trees and other items that may cause it to flood again and the council are strengthening the banks of the river. Lucy is very interested in looking after the environment and has even campaigned to stop developers from building on the local water meadows and to protect the wildlife.
Maureen then told the children about 8 year old Zin Thu Thu (pronounced Zin-too too) and her family who live in a country called Myanmar (pronounced ‘mee-anmar’). Myanmar is in Asia surrounded by a number of other countries. Storms regularly hit Myanmar. When Zin Thu Thu was only two years old, a very powerful storm called Nargis, hit the country. Even though the storm was 6 years ago the people are still being affected by it. For example trees were knocked down so there wasn’t any natural shade from the heat. This made it more difficult for people to work and affected the crops they grew and their animals. CAFOD is still working with the community to plant trees and repair roads that were destroyed.
In school Zin Thu Thu is now learning what to do when there is a storm. Amongst other things the children learn what different disasters there are and how to pack an emergency bag. Zin Thu Thu and the whole of her community are learning how to keep safe if a storm comes.
Both Lucy and Zin Thu Thu are keen to look after themselves and their environment. The more frequent cyclones and floods are thought to have been caused by the climate changing.
Maureen then asked the children what they thought they could do to stop the climate changing so rapidly and help prevent disasters such as these happening. Ideas included cutting out trips in the car and riding a bike instead or walking, cutting out fizzy drinks and drinking tap water or even cutting out using so much electricity and switching off TVs or computers on standby, or playing games instead of video games.
Thank you so much Maureen and thank you too to the pupils, staff and parents at St Paul’s primary for all your support. Thank you all!
For more information on CAFOD’s Lenten appeal and primary school resources please click here.