St Joseph’s Academy ‘Brightens Up’ for Harvest

St Joseph's Catholic Academy CAFOD Harvest Fast Day 2015g (2)I’ve just returned from a FANTASTIC afternoon at St Joseph’s Catholic Academy in Aldershot where pupils and staff donned their very brightest outfits today to take part in a huge Zumba dance class – raising over £1,000 for CAFOD!  Amazing!! THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH!  What STARS!

This Harvest we’ve been asking young people to ‘Brighten Up’ to to help us bring about a brighter and more peaceful world.  The whole school community at St Joseph’s Catholic Academy have been learning that conflict and fighting, in different countries around the world, stops many children from being able to go out with their friends or from going to school to learn and play.

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They heard about eight year old Diego in a recent special assembly. Diego lives with his family on the outskirts of San Salvador, the capital of El Salvador.  He loves to out out on his bike but it’s difficult for him to go out to play because there are lots of gangs and violence where he lives (click on the short film of Diego below).

People in El Salvador face many challenges. Pope Francis recently encouraged the people of El Salvador to stay united in hope asking us all to pray so that ‘justice and peace can flower once again’ in El Salvador.

The children at St Joseph’s also thought about their rights – the things that every child should have or be able to do to have the best start in life. As they found out, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child tells us that every child has the right to play and relax.

CAFOD is supporting a peace-building project in Diego’s community which makes sure Diego and his friends have the right to relax, play and take part in different activities.  As part of the project, Diego’s school runs different sport, music and dance activities where children are free to play, learn skills and have a voice.  Diego is now learning to play the drums in a peace band.

That’s why it is so wonderful that the whole school community at St Joseph’s Academy here in Aldershot has ‘Brightened Up’ to support our life-changing work this Harvest.

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As Ms Williams told us,

“Our pupils have been learning about how so many children their age in El Salvador can’t do things that they take for granted because of the fighting that goes on in their communities and how CAFOD is providing spaces where young people can enjoy their childhood in peace.

“That’s why we all wanted to take part in CAFOD’s ‘Brighten Up’ campaign and wear our most colourful dance outfits today to help build a brighter world.  It’s inspiring to think that the money raised by our pupils and staff may help to provide spaces for children to learn or play with their friends in a safe environment.”

Thank you so much to all the parents, staff and pupils for their huge support for CAFOD! Everyone looked absolutely fantastic!  A special thanks to Ms Williams for organising all this and thank you Kim for donating your time too to run the Zumba sessions all afternoon!  I don’t know how you did all those sessions back to back! FANTASTIC!

Find out more about our ‘Brighten Up’ for Harvest appeal.

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