St Illtyd’s and a Rough Guide to CAFOD and the Refugee Crisis

Mr David Lewis, Head teacher at St Illtyd’s Catholic Primary School in Bonymaen, Swansea welcomed CAFOD in to the whole school assembly on Thursday 6 April where the children were given a “Rough Guide to CAFOD”

What does the D in CAFOD stand for?

Well it’s development.  And this was a great opportunity to explain what a development agency is and that development is about supporting people in poor communities to receive basic rights such as food, water, health care and education as well as a way to earn money to support themselves.

These are the very basic resources that all people need to be able to look after themselves and their families.  Perhaps we take these for granted in England and Wales.  But everyone in the world has the right to live with dignity.

Following assembly, Year 6 took part in the Lampedusa Cross pilgrimage workshop. The Lampedusa Cross gained widespread attention during the Year of Mercy in 2016.  It has become a symbol of the huge numbers of displaced people around the world.

Millions of people live uncertain lives as migrants and refugees.  They have been forced to leave their homes by war, poverty and persecution.  Families have been ripped apart.

Our faith calls us to act and asks us to welcome the stranger.  It can seem overwhelming but we can respond with welcome, respect and love.

But a carpenter from the small island of Lampedusa, off the coast of Italy, shows us all how a small act of kindness can make a massive difference.

In 2013 a boat carrying over 500 refugees fleeing from Eritrea and Somalia caught fire with many hundreds of lives lost. Francesco Tuccio felt powerless. But he gathered up wreckage from the boat and made small crosses which he gave to the survivors as a message of solidarity and hope. This small act of kindness has resonated around the world.

Year 6 at St Illtyd’s wrote their own personal messages of hope to refugees which will be shared by CAFOD with refugee camps around the world.

We all learned that through prayer, reflection and simply sending a message about how much we care, we can all make a difference.



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