A huge thank you to everyone at Christ the King Catholic Primary in Reading for ‘Brightening Up‘ this Harvest and inviting our Education Volunteer Linda Heneghan to deliver a special assembly yesterday morning featuring our very own Wonder Worm!
Linda started the assembly by explaining that she was going to ask the children to think about how food is grown. She asked everyone to put up their hands if they have ever grown anything to eat.
She then asked them whether they could think of things that are needed to help crops grow well, such as sunshine, rain, and good soil as well as things that might hinder growth such as drought or flooding.
CAFOD works all over the world helping families to be able to grow enough food to feed themselves and often have enough left over to sell in order to provide an income.
One of the things needed for growing food is good soil! So Linda showed the students how CAFOD has helped a family living in Bolivia to have much better soil for growing their vegetables.Santos and Joel (pictured above) live in a small farm high up in the Andes mountains in an area called the Altiplano. Getting water is difficult and rain is unpredictable. There are a lot of hailstorms and frost which can wipe out people’s crops. The soil is generally very dry and of poor quality. This is a job for Wonder Worm as Linda went on to explain.
CAFOD’s partner is working with local people to help them create wormeries. These are big holes in the ground which people dig, build a wall inside and fill with cow manure. Communities are given worms by CAFOD’s partner which they then add to the hole, keep damp and cover to protect the worms from the hot sun. Here is Elizabeth, Santos and Joel’s mother, beside their wormery (below).After about three months, Wonder Worm and his friends have done their job, and created wonderfully rich humus (the worms eat the cow manure and the humus is what comes out afterwards). The humus is worked into the fields as a fertiliser and then sown on the family’s fields.
Modesto, Joel and Santos’ father says, “We realised very quickly how good it was. We used the humus on our potatoes and the next year they were very much taller than they would have been previously.”
As Linda explained, both boys help their parents with the work. Santos helps with the replanting, watering the plants and weeding. Joel helps with weeding but his Dad says sometimes “he pulls up the wrong plants.” Modesto says life will be much easier for his sons than it has been for him, as it will be easier to grow enough food. He also says that eating the vegetables means they are both healthy and growing properly.
Not only does the family now grow enough food for themselves, they also have some extra crops such as onions, chard, potatoes and beans which are taken into the nearest town to sell at market. Modesto also sells some of the worm humus, because people can see how good it is.
At the end of the assembly the children were also reminded about the Corporal Works of Mercy. As Linda said, these are the things Jesus told us to do to show everyone we love them the way that God loves us. Helping people who are hungry to have food is one of those. (Christ the King has this lovely banner on the Year of Mercy right by their entrance too – see below!)
Thank you so much everyone at Christ the King for all your support and thank you too to Linda for this great assembly!
Find out more about our work in Bolivia and Ruben’s story by watching this short film below.