St Marie’s Catholic Primary School prepared and shared a simple soup and bread lunch to make a splash! Their efforts will help provide clean and safe water across the world as part of this year’s CAFOD Lent fundraising campaign.
In an added boost, their fundraising efforts for the Catholic charity’s Lent Appeal will be doubled by the UK Government’s Department for International Development up until May.
Right now, 783 million people are living without access to clean water. 2.5 billion people lack something as basic as a toilet and sewage system to flush away their waste. It is also estimated that women and girls spend 140 million hours a day collecting water, which means time away from work, school or playing with friends.
Bernadette Twomey, Assistant Headteacher, said, “Children gathered from 7.45am to peel the vegetables and collect herbs from the school garden. Everyone rolled their sleeves up and joined in – it has been a real joint effort. Our soup lunch brought together all members of our school community including children, parents, staff and Fr Walsh from St Vincent’s parish. It’s a great way of helping our children to learn more about the work of CAFOD and the huge issues facing so many people in our world today. We have raised £300 through our efforts.”
The money raised will give children, particularly girls, around the world a better chance of being able to go to school – girls such as 15-year-old Guti from Uganda.
Guti nearly dropped out of school because there was no clean, safe water and had to walk to the river for water to drink or to wash.
CAFOD partners were able to repair the water pump near Guti’s school, provided a portable sink and soap for handwashing, and trained teachers to help pupils learn good hygiene routines. This has meant fewer pupils miss school due to illness and some girls are taking high-school exams that only boys took before.
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Nick Hurd, said, “It’s fantastic that pupils will be ‘making a splash’ this Easter for CAFOD’s Lent Appeal, supporting thousands of people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zimbabwe and Uganda. By doubling every pound raised, together we can ensure that 300,000 people, especially young girls, can go to school rather than walking miles to collect water, can be protected from disease, and live healthy, productive lives.”
CAFOD representative, Grace Cowley said, “Lent Fast Days are such a great way of bringing people together and raising an incredible amount of money to help others. I’m delighted that the UK Government is matching CAFOD’s work for the third time. This proves how important these initiatives are for people all over the world.
“Lent is a time when we look to make a transformation in our own lives. In making this transformation, we aim to see one in the world around us. We therefore put our faith into action by ensuring as many people as possible have access to the basic right of safe and clean drinking water.”