Compassionate about the poor Bill Mulcahy (Brisbane) Bill's previous articles
March 23, 2012
Called to be a "Man Alive"
- Part 2
2009 The Lenten period
arrives and the school undertakes another Project Compassion. This year I am
teaching a wonderful Year 6/7 class and we learn about a lady named Teopista
from Uganda (http://youtu.be/OeA57ZVmOKA) and the sustainable agriculture program that Caritas
supports there. Our class, known as the WombatWarblers, took an interest in
Teopista, Uganda and the poverty that exists there. We were able to raise funds
for Caritas via Project Compassion, but we thought we could do more.
As a story starter for English one day I projected on the electronic whiteboard a picture of a child in Uganda carrying a 20 Lt drum and I asked the children to write what this child would see, smell, touch, hear and say as she walked on average 3 km to collect water for her family. The children were quite moved by this picture and wrote some wonderful stories, so I asked them “What can we do for this girl”.
The reply was that we could walk in her footsteps to better understand this daily chore for her. So that is what we did. During the following two months we planned what would become our annual WalkforWater. We would, all 21 in our class, walk for a 12 hour period around the boundary of our school (600m) and raise funds that we had planned for a Sustainable Farming Workshop in Lugazi, Uganda to assist village farmers with better farming practices. We would walk 3 laps of our school carrying an empty drum, and then complete another 3 laps carrying either a full 10Lt or 20Lt drum with water. If we were to experience what the village girl did daily, we had to do it as well. The rich learning for this group of 20 kids was amazing. We adopted the saying “If it is to be, It begins with me” recognising that if we wanted changes to happen, we could and should be the ones to make the changes. We were committed to being global citizens.
was videotaped and produced into this: WalkforWater 2009 I hope you understand the impact that these children were
able to make in raising over $2500 for a project half way around the world and
the awareness they created by walking a combined 498km in the 12 hours. Remember
these children are aged 10-12 years of age. I was so proud of these kids and
while they are all in Year 10 and 11 at High School, they gather with the
present class and continue the tradition of Walking for Water.
weeks prior to the Walk I was searching on a global education site that links
schools from around the world to work on projects together. I had previously
linked with schools in England, Brazil and Scotland and the children learnt so
much about other children. For some reason (God prompting I believe) I searched
Uganda, and four school details came up on the computer screen. I noticed one
about a village school that had very few resources and facilities. So I typed
back an email introducing my class and myself. That was about 4pm Queensland
time. At about 10pm that same night I received a reply from Uganda from the
Deputy Head Teacher Maria. I immediately grabbed the phone and rang the number
on the email. In an instance I was talking to a Ugandan woman, deep in the
villages west of Kampala and just north of the Equator. Indeed God was leading
me in a direction that I was almost comfortable with.