Patrick told us,
“At the beginning of the assembly, our confident helpers selected beautiful and very appropriate music entitled ‘Joy’ that was played as the whole school entered assembly whilst acolytes, stationed at the doors, ‘lit the entry for worship’.
“The procession of children, in silence, with hands joined was impressive and it was a delight to hear the swell of song as the various year groups joined in the chorus of the song “Joy, you are the joy of my soul …..“.
“We reminded the children that the last time they visited, we talked about the Year of Mercy and mentioned in particular, the Corporal Works of Mercy, such as ‘feed the hungry’ and ‘give drink to the thirsty’. Today’s assembly would look at another aspect.”
Firstly, Isobel and Patrick asked the children what sports they liked to play with their friends and the children told them of all the different games they played in school and clubs. These included, tag, hide and seek, football, basketball, swimming and catch. A few children then volunteered to mime six games which were guessed correctly by their classmates.
“There was widespread agreement that participating in sports and games was a great way to develop important values such as friendship, sharing and solidarity. CAFOD agrees with this and thinks that playing sport and games helps us to make friends, show respect, to play fair, treat people with dignity, and work together.”The children were then able to tell Patrick and Isobel of the forthcoming international sporting events such as the 2016 Olympics and Paralympic Games and their location.
Even though Brazil is not one of the poorest countries in the world, we still see great poverty there. Brazil is the largest country in South America and the fifth largest country in the world.
Millions of people in Brazil live in poor housing called Favelas. They are homes that are made with anything the families can find, bricks, mud, corrugated iron and even cardboard. These are not ideal places to live, but millions of people do not have a choice. These Favelas can usually be found around the city, even in the hills surrounding large cities. The people here often work together to do things to make life better for themselves and their children.Patrick and Isobel then invited the children to meet Rogerio and Andreia (see above) who come from Brazil. They live in Peixinhos in North East Brazil. They both like playing Brazil’s favourite sport – football!
Playing football though is much more than just a game for them. They are part of a special project funded by CAFOD which helps children who live in favelas, which can be dangerous places. There is often violence between gangs and this means that children have to spend time indoors and so can’t make friends.
Andreia says that she used to be sad and feel lonely but going to the football project has helped her make friends. She also says that, “we want to play and we cannot because there is so much violence on the street.” However, she says that she feels safe when she is at the project with her friends.They go to a special project funded by CAFOD for boys and girls and one of the activities which they both love taking part in is being part of the football team. The project offers two football workshops each week. 50 children and young people attend each of them. 8 young people from the project are now playing in local football clubs as a result of partnerships created with football clubs in 2013.
In 2014 two football tournaments were organised by the children. One football tournament had the aim of bringing together groups of young people that are rivals. The organisers hope that having learnt to play football together without fighting and arguing, they will be more likely to not fight in the streets of their community.
“The children could see how the work of CAFOD in these football clubs was helping to ‘welcome the outsider'”
Thank you so much to everyone at St Peter’s for your fantastic support for CAFOD and to Patrick and Isobel for delivering this assembly.