Hello to everyone at St Mary Magdalene’s Primary school Milton Keynes and thank you so much for welcoming our education volunteer Cathy Stormonth to your school. We hope you enjoyed the assembly about turning “Little fish into Big fish” and we look forward to hearing about your fund-raising activities for the Lent fast day on Friday 10 March.
A whole school assembly at St Mary Magdalene’s School have helped pupils focus on how CAFOD is helping to alleviate poverty this Lent. The theme around the ‘Big Fish Project’ brought about an enthusiastic response from the school
Cathy introduced Florence and her little fish pal “Bob”. Florence is a Fish Farmer in Zambia and CAFOD has helped her and her family by training her how to farm fish. CAFOD supplied her with the tools she needed to dig a pond and the little fish that were put into the pond.
When she had finished her training, Florence returned to her community and told her neighbours how they could all help with the farm and “Turn Little Fish into Big Fish”. These little fish have changed Florence’s life because she now has enough to feed her family and some left over which she can sell at the market to earn some money that enables her to send her children to school.
Cathy found that pupils were keen to learn about the CAFOD sponsored fish farming communities in Zambia.
Cathy observed, “There was a sea of hands-up to the questions asked and pupils were eager to volunteer to go fishing and catch fish that represented the impact of fish farming in those communities. They were amazed how fish farming can lift families out of poverty, give them a healthier diet and provide funds to educate children and bring about a much better quality of life in villages.
The Assembly was drawn to a close with a prayer and by referring to Pope Francis’ call for us to “Care for Our Common Home” with an assurance that we will be caring for our common home if we help families like Florence’s as we and CAFOD “Feed the Hungry” this Lent”.
Mrs Howell (senior teacher) summarised the assembly by saying “It’s so important for communities to share their knowledge and skills in fish farming so that many more families will ultimately benefit from this project and be able to live better lives.” Mrs Howells repeated that £4 can buy a hundred baby fish and that £20 can buy the tools and the kit to make the pond. She wondered how many hundred baby fish St Mary Magdalene’s pupils would be able to buy through fishy fundraising activities.
Mrs Kathryn Williams, the Deputy Headteacher, explained that the school had set aside a special CAFOD fundraising day for Lent. She said that ‘All our fundraising ideas come from our pupils who are very enterprising. We are always so pleased that we raise so much money for CAFOD and support the good causes.’
At the end of the assembly when Cathy asked pupils if they were a ‘Big Fish’ school there was a resounding reply ‘YES!’
Many thanks to Cathy for delivering such a “fantastically fishy” assembly and to all the children, staff and parents at St Mary Magdalene’s Primary for your support of CAFOD. Here is our Lent film for you to enjoy