On Thursday before the season of Advent began, Mrs Angela Heald, acting Headteacher at St David’s Primary School in West Cross in Swansea invited CAFOD South Wales to talk to the pupils about World Gifts.
World Gifts are CAFOD’s charity gift range. The gifts are virtual – you don’t actually receive a camel or a goat! But they are ethical and will hopefully bring joy to the people you give them to – and – at the same time help transform the lives of poor communities and families in developing countries.
Each World Gift is a real example of CAFOD’s work. When you choose a gift, you support the area of our work that this gift represents – which means that when you buy chickens, you support our work with poor farmers by contributing to our Livestock, Agriculture and Livelihoods fund.
Giving in this way gives CAFOD the flexibility to respond in the best way possible to the individual needs of different communities all over the world.
St David’s school was going to put the idea of collective fundraising for CAFOD’s World Gifts to the Faith Council – so fingers crossed that they think it’s a good idea…
Following on from Assembly, Year 5 and Year 6 combined to look at the Lampedusa Cross and the current refugee crisis as more people than ever before are now on forced journeys far from home.
The pupils followed the refugee “pilgrimage” liturgy which is made up of seven stages – it’s a simple but poignant way for us to show solidarity with people who are trying to escape from war, poverty and persecution. During the pilgrimage we are asked to reflect “Who is my neighbour?” as we listened to the life stories of some refugee families.
During the Year of Mercy, Pope Francis invited us all to experience and to proclaim God’s mercy:
“We ourselves need to see, and then to enable others to see, that migrants and refugees … are brothers and sisters to be welcomed, respected and loved.”
At the last stage of the pilgrimage, the children gathered round the Lampedusa Cross and heard how Francesco Tuccio made rough crosses from the wreckage of a boat that had caught fire and sunk, killing over 300 people.
Mr Tuccio is a carpenter on the small island of Lampedusa and he made small crosses for the survivors as a symbol of their rescue and a sign of hope for the future.
The pupils were invited to reflect and write their personal messages of hope for refugees which will be collected, translated and dedicated at a Mass in Salford on Saturday 3 December, before being distributed to refugee camps around the world.
We’d like to thank Mr Delaney and Mrs Heald for their very kind support of CAFOD’s work.