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In the last academic year (2022-2023), 44% of Catholic schools in England and Wales fundraised for CAFOD raising over £610,000.
Catholic primary and secondary schools responded with incredible generosity to emergency appeals including for the floods in Pakistan and the earthquake in Syria, with over £170,000 raised for emergency giving.
But it wasn’t just fundraising that kept Catholic schools busy, they also showed remarkable commitment to Catholic Social Teaching and tackling the climate crisis.
In the last year alone, 37 schools achieved the LiveSimply award – an initiative which sees schools committing to live simply, sustainably and in solidarity with the world’s poorest communities. The award is achieved when a school puts their faith into action and includes activities such as setting up eco clubs or fundraising and campaigning.
Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Primary School in Brier field ran some wonderful initiatives for their LiveSimply award, including a Christmas fair, a prayer garden and writing pledges about how we can all look after our planet.
Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School in Chorley completed the LiveSimply award, and Deputy Headteacher Charlotte Chenery said:
“We really do feel that working towards the award has given us the chance to find further ways of bringing our faith into action and helped us to focus on making better choices for the benefit of our world and those within it.
“Our children have certainly embraced the need to take action for the greater good; it has been very rewarding to see them using their voice to create change.
“The whole journey has been well supported by yourselves at CAFOD and continues to be the place to which we will turn for future inspiration.”
There are also now 444 CAFOD clubs in Catholic primary schools, which help pupils to take the lead in putting Catholic Social Teaching into action. The clubs do a range of activities including writing prayers, art and crafts all while learning about the wider world and what CAFOD is doing to support those who urgently need help.
CAFOD clubs include Rosary Roman Catholic Primary School in Birmingham, who brought their pupils together to pray for the hungry. Others like St Mary’s in Harborne reflected on Pope Francis’ Laudato Si.
Monica Conmee, head of education at CAFOD, said:
“It’s been wonderful to see Catholic schools rise to the challenge of standing in solidarity with our sisters and brothers around the world. Times haven’t been easy here at home, but this hasn’t stopped schools going above and beyond to help those in need around the world.
“I am constantly amazed at the creativity and sheer determination of young people to build a more just and peaceful world. We will continue to support schools in helping children and young people put faith into action.”
CAFOD resources for schools
CAFOD provides a range of free resources and activities for primary and secondary schools. This includes lesson plans and assembly ideas, as well as ways for children and young people to get involved in campaigning.