Saturday, October 24

Talk to OLHC -Eltham

In August I gave a talk to the school children, at the request of the school, about the Malawi Support Group and pointed out that Malawi, with a population of  16 million (Australia has about out 23 million people), occupies an area  less than the size of Tasmania. Hence the country has limited resources 
One of the biggest differences I explained is  how much better off we are in Australia compared to Malawians  – as nearly half the people in Malawi earn only $1 a day. After talking about life in Malawi and the limited facilities in their sister parishes' catholic school when then all watched the video as per below -to enjoy the  joyful celebration of the inaugural mass in the new church largely funded by the MSG. 
I also read them a story I had composed. 
The children were wonderfully attentive and asked many thoughtful questions to subsequently raise $234 from their own efforts by doing odd jobs over the holidays. A further $25 was donated by the tuckshop. 
Over the years small regular amounts raised like this have all added up to make a big difference so that in monetary terms so far we have sent over well over  $100,000. But more importantly a story has emerged, united by a common thread of unity to embrace fellowship in fundraising  activities and in co- sharing the gifts and stories to learn more about one's respective customs and cultures.   


Tom said...

My experience has been that children often ask interesting [sometimes difficult] questions. Unfortunately, all too often they are given answers which seek only to hide a parent's ignorance or embarrassment. I'm glad your experience was fruitful.

susan said...

This is the best kind of work, Lindsay. I'm sure the children you spoke to will never forget their brothers and sisters in Malawi.

Lindsay Byrnes said...

Hi Tom
Indeed it was very much an interactive exchange of questions and answers demonstrating mutual sincerity, interest and trust. It reinforces the idea to me we don’t have too much to worry about in relation to future generations.
But I am sure that is due mainly to the schools positive input and more particularly to the wonderful teachers. I was so pleased to be a very small part of that ongoing positive process.
Best wishes
Hi Susan
Following on from that remark to Tom that I was so pleased to be a very small part of that ongoing positive process- here is one email I received afterwards -
"I know they all learnt a lot about life in Malawi and it will provide much ‘food for thought’ for them. I have to share with you a comment from the students as we were walking back to the classroom. The little girl whose parents worked up in Cape York Peninsula said to me, ‘That was so inspiring! I think I know what I want to do when I grow up.’ I just hope that they are all inspired to help others as they grow up!"

Best wishes