Wow! Our young leaders at Farnborough Hill have already hit the ground running this Harvest by delivering a special assembly on CAFOD’s work in Bolivia and many other initiatives to really ‘Brighten Up’ our world this Harvest! Thank you so much!
During their assembly, the young leaders introduced themselves to the school and talked about why they were inspired to work with CAFOD on the Youth Leadership Programme this year.
They then talked about Rebeca, a 16 year old from Bolivia in South America. As the girls explained, Rebeca lives on the Altiplano which is a high flat plain in the Andes with her parents and her sister. Her older sisters and brothers have gone to Bolivia’s capital city or to Argentina to find work.
Bolivia is a very beautiful country, but it is also one of the poorest countries in Latin America. Almost half of the population live below the poverty line.
On the Altiplano the soil is poor quality and very dry. The climate is changing and the weather is unpredictable. Sometimes there can be too much rain, but usually there is simply not enough. This makes growing food incredibly tough. Because families are unable to grow enough varied food for a good diet, many people, especially children, are malnourished. Often people migrate to the cities to earn money.
CAFOD has three partners in Bolivia who are working alongside the people of the Altiplano. They offer training in traditional and modern farming methods. This includes technical help for families to construct their own greenhouses and wormeries. If wormeries are well-constructed and cared for, the worms can convert animal dung into rich compost in just three months!
Families who have been trained share their knowledge with others in the community. The impact of these farming techniques is huge. Families who have received this support can now grow enough food to eat, as well as additional food to sell and earn an income.
When Rebeca’s family learned how to construct a productive greenhouse, Rebeca helped to build the walls and to put on the roof. Rebeca says: “I was very happy when the greenhouse was finished and I said to myself, ‘Finally, we can grow things!’” Now the family has also started a wormery and Rebeca is looking forward to using the rich compost, called humus, on all of their plants.
Watch Rebeca’s story below.
After telling Rebeca’s story, the young leaders then distributed differently coloured strips of paper to everyone in the audience and asked them to write down their dream for our world this harvest. They then arranged for these to be made into a rainbow!
As they said,
“This way we can all be reminded of what we pledged to think about today. It will also remind us of our unity as a school community, especially when we come together in chapel for our Harvest Festival.”
And they then asked everyone to sing ‘Any Dream Will Do’ from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat! Brilliant!!
The group ended the assembly by asking their fellow students to wear a bright scarf on Fast Day itself as a visual representation of what the school community was doing for CAFOD this year and they encouraged everyone to bring in non perishable items for local charity Step by Step on the day as well as a donation for a special collection for CAFOD.
And that’s not all! They also organised a soup lunch too on the day!
Wow! Thank you so much to our young leaders at Farnborough Hill and the entire school community, pupils, staff and parents for all your enthusiasm and sterling support for our work. It is amazing!