Earlier this year, I arranged to speak to my local parish congregation in St Joan of Arc, Farnham, about the amazing work that ‘Share the Light’ does. After making initial contact with the parish priest, Father Niven, I was welcomed to advocate the charity on the 1st and 2nd of April 2017. With the help of Charlotte McVicar and Miss Lindquist, our efforts advocating ‘Share the Light’ provoked an overwhelming response, producing great interest in the charity. I aimed to promote awareness of the ‘Porridge Club’ aspect of the charity, speaking at the altar with Charlotte, promoting ‘Joy Vouchers’, hoping to raise £10 per ‘Joy Voucher’.
We spoke to the congregation at four masses about the work of Share the Light and promoted the vouchers on a stand outside the church, speaking to many of the parishioners about the school in Luyobolola. We also talked about the other projects and our upcoming trip to Zambia in late June.
The parish reacted with great enthusiasm, many questioning myself, Charlotte and Miss Lindquist, eager to learn more about the work of ‘Share the Light’. Alongside the genuine interest from the parish, came a staggeringly generous monetary support. Not only was the support evident immediately after each mass, but many parishioners continued to donate, sending money to Salesian throughout the following week. This was gratefully received and resulted in the huge sum of £2,800, enough money to feed 280 children porridge every day for a year.
I am extremely grateful to the parish at St Joan of Arc and Father Niven, for, not only their immense enthusiasm and interest but also their generous donations to the charity. Such generous donations will really affect the well-being of the children in Zambia, who will be able to concentrate at school after having a nourishing, healthy breakfast. I am looking forward to going back to St Joan of Arc after my experience in Zambia to thank them again for their generosity, having witnessed the profound effect that their donations have made.