St Paul’s College in Burgess Hill learn about Poverty, Education, Water and World Gifts

I was fortunate to visit St Paul’s in Burgess Hill earlier today at the invitation of Mr Dring, the chaplain. I don’t often visit schools any more but this was a good chance and I was accompanied by our trained and experienced Education Volunteer, Angela.

This was day two. On day one, Angela, accompanied by our Education Volunteer Coordinator, Anne, led Year 7 in an assembly about Food, Water and Poverty and the work of CAFOD and our partners in that area.

The young people showed off their knowledge of CAFOD during the Who Wants to Be A Millionaire-style quiz before we looked at how important water is to people in developing countries. We looked at the poverty trap – how poverty leads to further poverty and it’s a cycle out of which it is difficult to break.

On the positive side of things the students heard of various water projects with which CAFOD is involved and how easy it can be to make a big different.

World Gifts were highlighted as a great way of helping people lift themselves out of poverty and everyone went away with a catalogue.

Today was similar but we were looking more at education. Many people have spoken about the power of education, including Nelson Mandela, whose statement is writ large in the school’s reception area.

Education is the most powerful

Simple things can keep children in school – installing proper toilets and hand-washing facilities, teaching basic hygiene, fixing or installing bore-holes and CAFOD partners do many of these such things.

Today I was fortunate to take part in a lesson during which the young people chose a gift from the World Gift catalogue which they then, in a one-minute presentation, tried to convince the other students that they should buy. This led to some good points, great questions and some interesting discussions. Here are a few quotes from the lesson.

‘You can’t much meat off a pigeon, surely it’s better to just spend the £9 on food.’
‘Yes, but they’re a breeding pair of pigeons which means if you look after them, you’ll have more and more’

‘Why is a Medical Outreach Team (£300) better than a Health Clinic (£4000)?’
‘Because they can go to where people are sick and go to places where people can’t get to a hospital.’

‘We want Motivating Music because parents will buy the important stuff but we wanted the children to have fun so we chose them.’

Camels (£400) do lots of things. They carry things and also provide food.’
‘No they don’t.’
‘Yes they do.’
‘No they don’t.’
‘Yes they do.’ (They do provide milk).

‘Camels will help carry water so you don’t have to get it from a skanky river. £400 is quite cheap for a camel. They normally go for a lot more. They provide milk too which is healthy. They can help carry people to the hospital.’

Water for a village (£750) can be bought by a Church or school and will have lots of benefits like keeping people healthy and keeping them in school because they aren’t ill.’

It was a very enjoyable visit meeting these young people and helping inspire them to change the world. Would you like to join our team of volunteers. Just get in touch with us to find out more. 01483 898 866 arundelandbrighton@cafod.org.uk

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