BY Ryan McDougall | November 23 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


Falkirk pupils pack bags full of joy for children in Malawi

Two Falkirk Catholic primary schools came together recently to ensure that children in developing countries have all the stationery items they need for school.

The Backpack Project, set up by Mary’s Meals, has seen more than 500,000 filled backpacks sent to children receiving food aid from the charity.

It encourages youngsters in school to take their second-hand rucksacks and fill them with pens and pencils, erasers, rulers and other stationery items, as well as clothes suitable for school, spoons to eat with, non-liquid soaps, toothpaste and toothbrushes, and a small ball.

According to Mary’s Meals, this could be the first gift ever received by many of the young beneficiaries, who rely on charity for the basics of life.


Help from schools

St Andrew’s and St Francis Xavier’s Primary Schools in Falkirk have taken the Backpack Project by storm, filling an entire Mary’s Meals van with backpacks which will help fellow pupils in Malawi.

With the collection due to be shipped out on December 18, pupils are now eagerly waiting to see how young people overseas will benefit from their efforts.

St Andrew’s Parent Council were at the heart of organising the schools’ personal Backpack Project.

Rose Rogan, chair of the parent council, explained how the St Andrew’s P7 class held a presentation to the rest of the school during assembly, explaining to them what the Backpack Project is about and why they should get involved.

Then they decided to reach out to a neighbouring school.

“We contacted Roisin King from St Francis Xavier’s Primary and their [SSVP] Minnie Vinnie’s came on board,” she said.



The P7 pupils also spoke to the local congregations in St Anthony’s and St Francis Xavier’s Churches, as well as their local Church of Scotland parish, Falkirk Trinity Church.

The response was ‘amazing,’ Mrs Rogan explained, adding that they are hoping to do the same next year with even more schools involved. “We wanted to help our pupils realise by giving their time to help others they experience the joy of the Holy Spirit, and they did,” she said.

“When the Mary’s Meals van was tooting the horn and the men were waving us goodbye after we helped load up our collection, the children were smiling and laughing and telling us how good they felt even on a dull, wet Wednesday afternoon!”


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