Hello to everyone at St Paul’s primary in Paulsgrove! Everyone looks like they’re thoroughly enjoying their special visit by our Education Volunteers Isobel and Patrick Flynn earlier this month! Patrick and Isobel started off their special day at St Paul’s with an assembly on water, asking the children what water is used for in their homes and what might happen if they didn’t have safe, clean water.
They talked about Charlie, who lives in the North West of England, and Nadopun who lives in Uganda. Charlie’s family had to boil their water last year because there was bacteria in their water supply which would have made them sick if they drank it from the tap. The problem only lasted a few weeks but for some children around the world, not having fresh water is a constant problem.
Nadopun is 9 and lives in Uganda. She likes going to school with her friends and watching films. Patrick and Isobel explained that Uganda is in the East of Africa and that it’s a beautiful country, however 9.2M people there do not have access to safe water. That’s one in every four people in the country. The shortage of water is down to the lack of access to water in remote areas and the changing, unpredictable and increasingly dry climate.
Watch our special film about Nadopun’s older sister Proscovia below.
As Patrick and Isobel explained, the burden of collecting water often falls on girls and this in turn means that many drop out of school so that their families have the water that they need to drink, cook and wash.
When the local water pump broke, Nadopun’s mother and oldest sisters had to walk a long way to get water. Sometimes they couldn’t get to other boreholes so they had to collect water from the river. Nadopun’s mother says the water from the river is ‘awful’. Her brother got sick from drinking it. CAFOD helped them fix their local borehole and now they have clean water near their home.
Patrick and Isobel asked the children to imagine what it would be like to have to carry water long distances. They asked for a volunteer to walk around the Assembly Hall with full 2 litre bottles to highlight what it would be like to have to carry water like this several times a day.
They then ended the assembly by reminding the children that the Pope has said that this year is a special Year of Mercy and one of the things we can do to show we love and care for others is to give drink to those who are thirsty. So when we are helping communities to have access to clean water this Lent through our ‘Make a Splash’ appeal, we are being merciful, just as God is merciful to us.
Later in the day, Patrick and Isobel visited Year One and Year Two to explain more about CAFOD’s work around the world.
They also visited Year 5 and Year 6, showing the special video ‘Our World, Our Water’ (see below) to explain more on the topic and to show how water is being used to make food, clothes and many other items we all rely on. Groups then discussed some of these issues in small groups and discussed how they might conserve water in their own lives on a day to day basis.
Thank you so much to everyone at St Paul’s primary for great enthusiasm and fantastic support for CAFOD and thank you too to Isobel and Patrick for this great visit!
Read more about our special Lenten appeal. This Lent every pound raised will be doubled by the UK Government so it will have double the impact!