Leeds kids’ solidarity is food for thought

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Big hearted pupils at a Leeds school have been raising money to help young people affected by violence and conflict over 5,000 miles away by forgoing their afternoon snack.

Students from St Mary’s Catholic Voluntary Academy missed their afternoon apples and bananas – and 
instead gave 50p to Catholic charity CAFOD. They raised £100.

CAFOD’s annual Harvest campaign is this year focused on supporting children impacted by crime and gang violence in El Salvador.

The St Mary’s pupils also collected bags of groceries which will be delivered to those most in need in the local community by the Society of St Vincent de Paul charity.

Head teacher Peter Hughes said: “We’re delighted with the children’s efforts and that they are thinking of and sharing with others at Harvest.

“We also held a special assembly which was enjoyed by everyone. We’re very thankful to all the pupils, parents and carers.”

CAFOD works with local partners in El Salvador to reduce conflict and provide safe spaces where children are free to learn and play.

More than 75,000 people were killed in a civil war in the Latin American country in the 1980s and early 1990s, and violence and crime from gangs continues to affect communities.

Joanne Taylor, CAFOD coordinator in Leeds, said: “Every young person has the right to live without fear.

“Growing up in a peaceful environment is more than just growing up away from conflict.

“It is about us having safe spaces to go to school, make friends, and achieve our full potential.

“We would like to say a huge thanks to all the students at St Mary’s for their generosity and for helping to bring about a bit more peace in the world.”

For more information about CAFOD’s Harvest appeal, visit the cafod.org.uk/harvest web page.