by Richard French – Schools’ coordinator
The success of our CAFOD Schools Programme in the Arch-diocese of Southwark continues. In this academic year, in the last two terms we made 50 visits to our Catholic Primary Schools and 30 visits to our Catholic Secon-dary Schools. The objective of visiting schools is to raise awareness among young people of the problems of poverty and injustice in different parts of the world and the good work CAFOD is doing to assist development and relieve suffering.
In previous articles, I have written about managing the Schools Programme, given reflections of our Volunteers about their experiences in visiting schools and provided examples of how young people in schools have been active in support of CAFOD in a variety of ways. In visiting schools our objective is educational and we make it clear to all schools to which we offer visits that we are not visiting to fundraise, even if the visits are made at the time of one of the CAFOD Fast Days.
Despite this, we do find that many of the schools we visit are keen to fundraise on behalf of CAFOD and often our Volunteers are invited to go to schools to receive cheques as a result of the school’s fundraising activities. Also, we find surprisingly that schools we seldom visit have been generous in the amounts they donate to CAFOD. Some schools have their own specific charities in particular countries for which they collect money, but still request visits from CAFOD to give the wider context in which their particular charity operates.
In the current academic year to date, 40 of our Catholic primary schools have donated a total of £20,000 to CAFOD this year and 15 of our Catholic secondary schools have donated a total of £12,000. We are very grateful for their generosity. We know there is more money to come following the efforts of schools during the Lenten period as they are aware of the benefits to CAFOD of the Government’s pledge to double donations made in the recent period. Here are some examples:
St Fidelis School, Erith held collections for CAFOD after performances of their Christmas plays and this raised a total amount of £1,537.
Marianne Buckley, another CAFOD Schools’ Volunteer, attended a soup and bread lunch at St Gregory’s School, Tunbridge Wells, as a result of which the school has donated £1,070 to CAFOD.
CAFOD has already received £1,008 from St Augustine’s, Tunbridge Wells, and Maureen Birkett who visits the school has been told that a cheque for a further £480 is being sent to CAFOD. The School has had many different activities such as each classroom had a bucket to collect pennies, a cake sale, Easter egg raffle, spellathon, and making a silver river in the playground from silver coins.
A teacher and a team of sixth formers at St Anselm’s School, Canterbury went into every House Assembly and talked about the school’s CAFOD Lenten Appeal concerning water; the sixth formers had eight huge empty water bottles and then went into every tutor class and collected everyone’s small change for the appeal. The School raised £348.00.
The girls in Year 8 at La Retraite School in Clapham have raised £700 through selling cakes and by donating money when they were allowed to go to school in their own clothes rather than their uniforms.
Margaret Roper School, Purley is very active in its support for CAFOD and has raised £1,683 during the year. In the autumn, the school took part in the CAFOD sponsored Walk the World. Year 6 has raised money for CAFOD through Pavement Art. The Reception Class put on a show about Gruffaloes and money was raised for CAFOD through programme sales.
We are very grateful to these and all the other schools which have generously raised money for CAFOD. We apologise that space does not permit us to mention all the schools here.
For more information on how you can get involved with CAFOD’s work at your school, follow this link to a whole range of primary and secondary resources!