SMH | Posted 14.12.2016

The gift of giving at Christmas

Last term Stonyhurst St Mary’s Hall welcomed CAFOD Volunteer, Steve Burrows, to the school. Steve led an interactive assembly for the children on the theme of Harvest, during which they learned about Bolivia, the poorest country in South America, and in particular the Altiplano region where more than half of the population live below the poverty line and depend on farming to make a living. The children learned about the difficulties of farming in a harsh environment and how Cafod successfully supports partner organisations in this part of the world, enabling communities to produce nutritious food to sustain their families throughout the year.

Such was the impact this assembly had on one Lower prep pupil, Alicia Burgess , that she donated all of her birthday money to buy a greenhouse and a queen bee through CAFOD’s World Gifts scheme.  The scheme enables people to buy gifts that help communities across the world. Motivated to help other children her age, Alicia told her mum about the assembly in school.

Her mum said: “Alicia Mae has just celebrated her 8th Birthday.  After telling me all about the assembly at school, she insisted that all her birthday money should be spent on buying a greenhouse and a Happy Queen Bee, which together cost £62, as she felt the children in Bolivia were more deserving.  She decided that she could wait for presents until Christmas.  I was so very touched by this sentiment.”

CAFOD is celebrating twelve years of World Gifts, which were established to help make a difference to people living in poverty. The scheme has raised over £12 million, enabling thousands of presents to be brought by CAFOD supporters including 103,000 school starter kits, 46,000 goats, 38,000 chickens and 3,000 queen bees. The school has also made a donation.