Students and staff at St John Houghton Academy, Ilkeston have joined with CAFOD supporters across the diocese to take part in the ‘Thirst for Change’ campaign this Lent. The campaign recognises the lead taken by the UK government in international development issues and calls upon David Cameron to take the opportunity to turn the tide on water poverty at the G8 summit in May .
The school’s lay chaplain, Rachel Rose, has been introducing students to the campaign with a series of liturgies based on Jesus’s words: “I was thirsty and you gave me water to drink”. Students have taken part in a frugal lunch and non-uniform day to raise money for CAFOD’s water projects. This will be matched by the government through the UK Aid Match Scheme, so that every £1 raised by the students becomes £2 in aid to the world’s poorest people. Marie Molloy, CAFOD Diocesan Manager, has also joined the school for an act of worship, inspiring the community to live out their school prayer by having “the courage to do what is right.”
Students certainly feel strongly about this issue and were united in their call for the Prime Minister to take action at the G8 summit.
David, in year 7, had a clear message for David Cameron. “Listen to the people! It is wrong that children do not have clean water to drink and wash their hands with.”
Molly, also in year 7, added “I would not drink dirty water so why should someone else my age?”
Eleanor, in year 11, reflected “It makes me feel guilty that we are washing cars raising money for starving children and for their clean water. The world is mad. Why do we let it happen?”
Year 10 student, Jessica, thought “We need to do more every day. When you stop and think about it really is shocking. I hope CAFOD will help every child have clean water to drink. It’s not really that big an ask.”
We would like to thank all the students and staff who have taken action to support the campaign. By having both a thirst for change and the courage to do what is right, they are making a real impact on the lives of some of the world’s poorest people.