The uncommon joy of new school shoes

04/02/2011

Catholic Mission News Story
Students at St Josephs Laliyanna in India.

If you’re sending your child off to a new school this year then you know the costs are significant. A uniform, shoes, sports kit, bag and books can easily run to several hundred dollars - or more.

And then there are the added costs of excursions, lunches and extracurricular activities like sport, music and dance lessons.

But would we really have it any other way? Our kids are the great love of our lives and we want them to get the most out of their school years. Despite the costs, the ‘old school tie’ builds camaraderie, school pride and puts every kid on an even footing.

However, don’t expect your kids to say “thank you” for buying them a school uniform!

That isn’t the case in other places around the world. As the school year begins in India, Catholic Mission has received a special “thank you” letter from Father John Chiman, parish priest in the village of Laliyana in the Baghpat district, and St financial manager of the local Joseph’s High School.

“Because of the generosity of Catholic Mission donors we have received an allocation of $3,000 which we’ve used to pay fees, buy sweaters and shoes for 250 of our boys and girls,” Fr John wrote.

“Thank you! Your gift makes a world of difference to our students, all of whom are from struggling families. By equipping them for school you’ve helped them to feel equal to the other children and as a result they are now regular attendees to our school.

“For this blessing we offer our sincere gratitude. The students and I always remember our donors in our prayers, even as we pray for the health and safety of all the world’s children. God bless you.”

In big and small ways, last year Catholic Mission helped more than 2.66 million children around the world through subsidies for food, clothing, housing, education and medicines.

Catholic Mission is the Australian arm of the Church’s global mission aid agency, the Pontifical Mission Societies. It does not discriminate by race or religion: all the children in communities where Catholic Mission works benefit.

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