BY Staff Reporter | April 1 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

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Pupils across Scotland take part in ‘day of solidarity’ with SCIAF

Catholic schools across Scotland recently took part the first ever SCIAF Day of Prayer as they engaged with the charity’s Lenten campaign, learning about the vital work they do with the world’s poorest people.

Schools across the country are usually given prayer materials relating to the annual Wee Box appeal and resources to educate the young people, but this was the first ever coordinated Day of Prayer.

This year SCIAF is collecting money to help women in DR Congo, Africa, who are survivors of sexual violence.

SCIAF is providing medical care, trauma counselling and legal assistance to survivors by working with partner organisations on the ground who help women to recover, support themselves and rebuild their lives.

Over the next three years, SCIAF hopes to help 4,000 survivors in DR Congo get the support they need to recover and start rebuilding their lives.

School fundraisers

Before closing due to coronavirus, schools in Scotland held fundraisers to coincide with the Day of Prayer such as non-uniform, prayer breakfast and sponsored fasts.

A spokesperson for SCIAF said: “We know that schools already pray for SCIAF’s work around the world but there is something in the approach of doing it together that creates and inspires solidarity.

“Some schools used the material as year groups and gave time in their RE lessons over to it while others used it at assemblies or at prayer services at lunch time.”

At SCIAF’s office, staff took part in their own prayer service and spent some time in reflection.

Reflection

The spokesperson added: “That time was important to us as a team to remember who we serve.”

Schools across the country are key to SCIAF’s Wee Box appeal in their fundraising but the charity believes that it is also a crucial time to educate young people about world issues, and about the people the charity helps.

“Schools are key as we hope for a generation that have a better understanding of the world we live in and of how they can respond through reflecting, acting and giving,” a SCIAF spokesman said.

“Education is so important as we not only look at the symptoms of poverty but the causes. The curriculum in schools means that we can do that very thing.

“Schools use our resources as they fulfil curriculum experiences and outcomes but very much from a Faith perspective.”

Inspiration

SCIAF’s schools co-ordinator, Mark Booker, revealed he is always inspired by the young people he encounters in Catholic schools across Scotland.

“I’m delighted to see many schools taking part in the Day of prayer this Lent particularly focusing on the DR Congo,” Mr Booker said.

“It has always inspired and encouraged me that schools pray for the work of SCIAF but I’m particularly happy to see this action of solidarity taking place on a set day across Scotland.”

All donations to SCIAF’s Wee Box Big Change appeal from February 2 to May 20 will be doubled by the UK government.

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