Students' gift to families in El Salvador
PUPILS are raising money to bring some Christmas cheer to a community they got to know through an online scheme.
The students at St John Fisher Catholic College, in Newcastle, have been collecting hundreds of pounds as part of CAFOD charity's world gifts initiative.
It will see the money converted into gifts for families living in Puentecitos, in El Salvador, and in similar villages that are battling poverty.
St John Fisher pupils have been learning about Puentecitos thanks to another CAFOD scheme, Connect2, which enables people in the UK to get to know six communities in the developing world via online links.
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The young people have been organising a variety of fund-raising activities, including competitions to guess the number of sweets in a jar and to name a bear.
Teacher James Wakefield said: "This appeal is as much about engagement as fundraising.
"We want our students to engage with the world around them and improve their awareness and understanding of the ongoing challenges facing those in developing communities."
Abigail McMillan, CAFOD's manager for the Staffordshire area, has also welcomed the pupils' support for the scheme.
She said: "If you give somebody a chicken, or a goat, or even a toilet on Christmas Day, you're likely to raise a smile, and at the same time you can make a huge difference to the quality of life of those living in poverty in the developing world."