Year of Mercy – The Hungry
The children continued their Year of Mercy by thinking about ‘The Hungry’ this October. We began by watching a video on the CAFOD website which followed a young boy named Ruben living in Bolivia. Ruben’s family own some land near their home, where they grow food to eat. They rely on this food, but unpredictable weather and poor soil makes growing food really difficult. The children thought about how they would feel if they had to rely on food they had grown themselves and didn’t have food to eat every day. The children then made a poster of all their favourite foods and we discussed how lucky we are to have such a wide variety of lovely food so accessible. To finish, we said a prayer together for ‘The Hungry’ – asking God to look after them.
Year of Mercy – Family
The theme for July in our Year of Mercy was Family.
This was an opportunity for students to think about someone in their family and to pray for them. It might be that they wanted to say sorry to them for something they did or something they neglected to do, it might be that they wanted to say thank you to God for their family or it might be that they wanted to ask God to help them.
The children wrote a thank you card / sorry card for someone in their family which they took home at the end of the day to give to its recipient.
To finish, we looked at some scripture which makes reference to family and said a prayer together which gave our love and thanks to all our families who care for us so dearly.
Year of Mercy – Refugees
The theme for June in our Year of Mercy was Refugees. We began by discussing what a refugee was and if any of the children had herd anything about refugees on the news. We discussed how there are a lot of refugees coming to Europe at the moment because of terrible war in other counties. We watched a short video and looked at some pictures of refugees and what they had put in their backpack for their journey. The children then thought about what they would put in their backpack and drew these items onto a backpack template.
To finish, we looked at some scripture which makes reference to refugees and said a prayer together which gave our love to all those who have had to leave their homes and families because of war.
Year of Mercy – The Poor
The children continued their work done on the Year of Mercy last week. The Year of Mercy for May focuses on The Poor so the children considered what it would be like to be poor and struggling to survive. We looked at how some countries are extremely poor and the implications of fair / free trade. The children were then given an activity to complete.
The children got into mixed ability teams of six with each group representing a different country. We then discussed how to calculate the area of a rectangle. This was important for the main task of the lesson — using the resources provided to draw bird’s-eye view rectangular tables with an area of 24cm². As most teams did not have all the necessary resources at the beginning of the game, namely pencils, rulers and ‘mahogany logs’ (paper) to produce the tables, countries needed to trade with each other to obtain the necessary resources.
We then talked about which countries could be represented by each team and why, e.g. USA or western nation with all the ‘technology, Poor southern country such as Cameroon with rainforests but little technology. We then discussed the issue of fairness—whether the game was fair and what would have made it fairer. This allowed us to ask the question: As a representation of the way trading works in the real world, what actions can we take to ensure a fairer deal for people selling us goods from poorer countries?
This practical based lesson gave the children a real understanding of the disparity between rich and poor countries.
We discussed how we should be thankful that we live in a country where our basic needs are taken care of and we don’t need to worry too much about survival.
We finished the lesson by saying a prayer together and thanking God for the all the great things in our lives.
Year of Mercy – The Homeless
esus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” ~ Matthew 8:20
This month, we have looked into the plight of the homeless around the world. We talked about home homelessness can be one of the worst struggles a person can face, due to the suffering and despair it inflicts, and we talked about all the things we are lucky to have in our own lives. We then joined together to pray for those suffering people.
You were born into a homeless family,
born in a stable as there was no room at the inn.
Look with mercy on all those who are homeless:
those who sleep on the streets or in tents in refugee camps.
Be with them to comfort them.
Give strength to those who work with them, helping them find shelter, food and friendship. Amen
We concluded the session by writing messages of hope for the homeless, including wishes of clean water and food, or shelter and of bedding, of kindness and comfort. We also depicted scenes of homelessness, trying to communicate the feelings we would have in our hearts if we were truly suffering in this way. We hope you can share in our reflection this month.
Year of Mercy – The Thirsty
Jesus said, “I was thirsty and you gave me a drink” (Matthew 25:35). In this Year of Mercy, we remember that giving drink to the thirsty is one of the Acts of Mercy. This month, we have been looking at the plight of the thirsty around the world.
We have looked at how people who do not have access to clean water suffer as a result of this and discussed how, without clean water, people cannot reach their potential. Many girls worldwide have to spend time collecting water instead of going to school, while many thousands of families get sick from drinking unsafe water, or do not have enough water to grow crops or feed their animals.
We spoke about Jesus’ words on clean water and prayed to the Lord to help us aid those in need.
We think of all the people around the world who have no access to clean, safe water.
May our gifts, prayers and actions support them as they work to improve the lives of their communities.
Together, may we build a world where everyone has access to water, can go to school and can achieve their potential.
Finally, we wrote down our hopes and prayers to God to help those who are suffering as a result of dirty and unsafe water.
If you are interested in raising money for the thirsty people of our world, why not take part in CAFOD’s Make a Splash! project this Lent, and make a real difference to communities around the world, by supporting them to access clean water. For every £1 you raise, the government will give another pound.
It could be as simple as:
- A sponsored walk for water – you could even carry water part of the way in solidarity with so many girls around the world!
- Making a river down a wall in your house, full of hopes and prayers
- Have a sponsored soak – throwing sponges at volunteers – you could use water collected from a rainwater harvester and recycle the water for a veggie patch!
Year of Mercy – The Sick
February – The Sick: On 24th February, the children children continued on their journey in the Year of Mercy when they explored the theme for February ‘the Sick’. The children looked at some scripture and discussed how it is important to look after those who need our help the most. We said a prayer together which the children used as inspiration to write their very own get well cards for friends / family / people they knew who weren’t very well. Each child decorated their cards and wrote a lovely message inside. The children took these cards home to give to their recipients which I’m sure will make them feel a little bit better. Well done!
Year of Mercy – Holocaust Remembrance Day
January – Prisoners: On 27th January, the children learned about the Holocaust and remembered the millions of innocent people whose lives were lost during WWII. This tied in with the Year of Mercy as the theme for January is ‘prisoners’. The children looked at some scripture and discussed how it is important to give second chances to people when they are truly sorry. We said a prayer together which the children used as inspiration to write their very own prayer on the theme of prisoners. Each child wrote their prayer on a piece of coloured card and decorated it. These pieces of card were then linked together to form a ‘prayer chain’. We will keep this in our classrooms over the next few weeks to keep prisoners and those who suffered in the Holocaust in our prayers.