A very happy half term to everyone at St Edmund Campion Catholic Primary School in Maidenhead! Last week their CAFOD Education Volunteer, Sue Hardman, visited the school to talk to the children about water; how they use it in their everyday lives and what might happen if they didn’t have safe, clean water.
Sue started her assembly by telling them 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. Sue 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 Sue explained to the children, 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.
During the assembly Sue asked some volunteers to walk slowly round the hall while holding empty buckets by the handles. They had to continue their walk whilst Sue continued with the assembly and occasionally she would stop them and ask how it felt. Did their arms hurt? Did the bucket feel heavier? The aim of this exercise was to give the children an idea of what Nadopun and her family have to do every day, and how tiring this must be for them.
Sue 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.
Sue then went on to talk about the issue with some of the Reception classes who had very kindly decorated jam jars to collect money for CAFOD’s appeal.
Thank you so much to everyone at St Edmund Campion Primary School for their fantastic support for CAFOD and thank you too to Sue for this lovely 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!