Our learning journey for justice
2 Mar 2015 | Blog | Supporter action
When Julia Fullard and fellow Year 6 student, Liam Collins, from Stella Maris Primary School in Victoria, were learning about Caritas Australia and Catholic Social Teaching, they wanted to help. On 3 December, 2014, they raised over $5000 by taking part in a Caritas Ks sponsored 10km walk. Julia wrote this blog for Caritas Australia.
By Julia Fullard, Year 6 student at Stella Maris Primary School
Liam and I first learnt about Catholic Social Teaching when we were talking to our teacher, Mrs Selleck.
Mrs Selleck said she would love it if we could all do some prayer sessions on the teachings. I was given Preferential Option for the Poor and found the Caritas Australia cartoons, videos and images really meaningful and easy to use.
While doing this, Liam found an initiative called Caritas Ks . Our Catholic primary school loves social justice, and when the opportunity came we swarmed on it!
From little things, big things grow
Soon after the idea sprouted, I was on board. Caritas Australia supported us the whole way; they provided a sponsorship pack which included posters, sponsorship booklets and much more.
Mrs Selleck was on board at the first mention of a Caritas Australia event! Her desire and passion for a just society was what drove Year 6 to dig deeper, to try that little harder and to raise as much money possible for this cause.
If not for a supportive teacher like Mrs Selleck I don’t think the event would have taken place. Mrs Selleck and Miss Williams were major influences in our campaign for justice, as they are both passionate about it.
It was really hard to choose a group of 12 as our whole year level wanted to help out and lend a hand. In the end, we had to choose strong leaders who had demonstrated their love for justice in the previous terms. We split up the jobs, from people asking for business sponsorship, to people to help with posters and designing colourful buckets as symbols of our walk.
Most Year 6’s were already on board with the event, and we inspired the staff and rest of the school by showing them what the money will do on the Caritas Australia website and watching the Caritas Ks video at assembly. It didn’t take much to get everyone active and excited about the initiative.
Each grade was assigned three Year 6 students who spoke to the class every Wednesday during lunch about the cause and left a bucket on the prayer table for donations. Most parents were involved and interested in our raffle, with many prizes to be won donated by parents such as tickets to stage shows, art work and tennis equipment.
Mrs. Selleck, Liam and I wrote the script for business sponsorship together and handed it out to the students willing to visit businesses on the weekend or after school. Mrs. Selleck came up with brilliant idea to have our story feature in a magazine/newspaper, so I took on the role of emailing them. The Weekly Review and the Bayside Leader featured us both online and in a hard copy which was fantastic!
The big day
It was hard to squeeze the event in as our primary school years were coming to a bustling end but we were adamant that we could find a date, and we did, 3 December! Permission notes went out and instructions were organised. Our school was caked in posters and we had already raised over $2,000 from a market day run by our Grade 3’s. So when the day came, we were MORE than ready to go!
The big day was magical! We were all ready. The weather forecast had been stormy which made us all nervous (especially the dark grey sky the morning), although the day turned out to be a sticky sunny day! The lack of complaints surprised me and I couldn’t believe how elated everyone was to be taking a little piece of what children around the world have to face every day.
Although the walk home was tougher many students tried their best to use empathy and think of how far children around the world would need to do walk each day. Our group reflection at school was incredible and it was great to hear others opinions on the walk. We carried the class buckets and placed our groups water bottles in them because we really wanted to know what it would be like for children that have to walk kilometers for water to survive each day.
Aspire not to have more, but to be more
Now that the event has finished it feels incredible, and I want to do more. Over $5000 seemed so out of our depth, and we achieved our goal.
Our year level feels like we have made a big impact on many people’s lives around the world. It is unbelievable what a little school of 300 students can do when you really want to help and make a big impact.
When Megan Bourke from Caritas Australia came to receive the cheque, I felt so proud of our school and how much work for justice we’ve done. I just hope that Year 6 2015 can continue that on!
Year 6 2014 has strived to be like Oscar Romero, our motto being ‘Aspire not to have more, but to be more’ and I think that’s exactly what we’ve achieved!
I thoroughly recommend Caritas K’s to anyone who wishes to have an insight into what it is like for people that have to walk kilometres for fresh water each day!
Would you like to run your own Caritas Ks event? It’s a fun and rewarding way to raise money. Head here for more information »
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