Wow! That really is ‘brightening up’ for CAFOD Harvest Fast Day! What a lovely photo from St Paul’s Catholic Primary in Reading after their special assembly with our fab Education Volunteer, Linda Heneghan and her trusty puppet pal – Francesca!
Linda’s assembly talked about the lives of two children – one here in the UK and one in El Salvador in Latin America. Both these children – Luke and Diego – have had their lives brightened up by living in peace with people.
But before Linda talked about Luke and Diego, she explored a little more about what peace really means. Everyone thought for a moment about children who are refugees from war torn countries and Linda explained how CAFOD works with partners to help people who are fleeing from countries like Syria.
She then asked the children what they do to keep the peace. As the children knew, to have peace we all have to get on, be kind to one another and share. If we don’t do this and we fall out and argue with each other, then there is conflict.
The children then imagined what ingredients they might use in a ‘Peace Pie’ and a ‘Conflict Cake’. Two children came to the front and had to pull out an ‘ingredient’ from a mixing bowl, read it and then put it onto the correct tray.
‘Ingredients’ ranged from ‘being kind’ and ‘forgiving someone’ for the Peace Pie to ‘falling out’ and ‘fighting’ for the Conflict Cake. Linda then asked the children if they’d ever fallen out with anyone. Most of us have! But what’s important, as she said, is that we make up and we forgive the person.
As Linda said, those of us who have received the sacrament of reconciliation know how it feels when we admit we have done something wrong and know that God has forgiven us. Jesus taught us to be peacemakers. He said ‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God’. [Matthew 5:6] We try to follow the good example that our parents and our teachers give us and as children of God we look to Jesus to show us how to live our lives.
Linda then said that this is what Luke (from the UK) had done. He fell out with his friends one break time but made it up with them afterwards. He was a peacemaker. CAFOD works with our partners to try to be peacemakers too. Linda showed the children a picture of Diego, a young boy in El Salvador in Central America. Diego lives in a part of San Salvador, the capital of El Salvador, that can be very violent. There are lots of gangs in the area. CAFOD is working on a peace-building project to help the community and children like Diego to live together in peace. Diego’s school runs lots of different sport, music and dance activities for children to join in and he plays the drums in a peace band. When he is doing so he feels safe.
Take a look below at a short film of Diego and his experiences of living in San Salvador.
Linda then explained to the children that we’re asking schools to join in and ‘Brighten Up’ this Harvest to help CAFOD to help other communities like Diego’s, find more peaceful ways of living together. Click on our special film about this below.
The children then prayed for the children of El Salvador and all children who are affected by violence, especially the refugees from Syria and other war torn countries.
Thank you so much to everyone at St Paul’s primary for all your fantastic support for CAFOD. Thank you too Linda for carrying out the visit.
Find out more about our ‘Brighten Up’ for Harvest appeal.