Practicing Myanmarese at St Thomas More!

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Our Education Volunteer Maureen Thompson went back to St Thomas More’s Primary School in Havant last week, to thank everyone for their fundraising efforts during Lent. She reports:

“Yesterday I called in to say “Mingalapar” (“Hello” in Myanmarese) and thank you to reception children at St Thomas More’s primary school, Havant, who had been collecting for CAFOD during Lent.

Francesca and Benedict, my CAFOD puppets, came to help the children understand why we work with help people all over the world and where some of the money in their class pot might have gone.

We started with the CAFOD alphabet letters: all the children were excellent listeners and knew lots of letters and words.  Together we worked out that CAFOD puts the Gospel into practice and works to help people all over the world.

Then we looked at the pictures of Zin Thu Thu’s life in Myanmar: her home, her family and her school. We saw how a very bad storm (cyclone) had ruined her village and how CAFOD was working with people to help them plan to keep safe if another storm came. The children had lots of ideas of things they would put in their emergency bag if they had to stay out overnight- including carrots for seeing in the dark!

At the end of the story Zin Thu Thu sent a message to the children to say hello. Inspired by the meeting with Father Pius from Myanmar on Monday in London, I thought we could all try to say hello back in Myanmarese – the children showed off their reading skills to wave “mingalapar” back.

Mr Barber had asked me to sing a song with the children, more Myanmarese seemed a little ambitious, so to remind us all that Jesus loves all children around the world we ended up by singing “Jesus loves me”, trying to keep up with all the sign language too.

A big thank you to Mrs Pedder and Mrs Buckingham and all the children for inviting me, for showing your interest by listening so carefully, and sharing your ideas and observations. I really enjoyed myself and I hope you will invite me again.”

We would like to add our thanks too: to all the children for their great involvement, to the teachers and to Maureen herself  – a great team effort, well done everyone!

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