St Peter’s students learn about campaigning
Justice and Peace is something that is at the heart of Catholic social teaching. As stewards for the planet, it is important that we realise our individual and collective responsibilities to look after our world and all those who dwell in it. Through a conversation between Kevin and Mr Butler regarding the enthusiasm of a group of students, we wanted to give them the opportunity to encourage and channel their passion for making the world a better place.
Facilitated by Kevin (School Chaplain), five students (Veronica, Charlotte, Sophie, Leini and Kornelia) accepted the invitation to participate in a trial programme over Teams. This ran for five sessions and was led by James Trewby (Justice and Peace Education Worker) who works for the Columban Missionary.I
in our first session, James introduced the programme and we discussed five top tips for campaigning underpinned by Church teaching. The students were given the option, moving forward, to explore climate or refugees. The students chose to explore climate.
Session two, we were joined by by Marj, who was from the Philippines, but has been working in Fiji as a Columban Missionary Volunteer running various climate projects. One of the students commented “I learned that the people who have the least to do with the waste that goes into the ocean are those most affected and that there are many small groups try to clean up the beaches but there is too much waste to clean up before it comes back again.”
Session three, Anna a Year 13 student who has coordinated a response in her school and local area to make a difference joined us. We heard about how Anna had organised a climate conference between a number of local schools to discuss climate issues and how they can make a difference. The feedback from one student is “I learned that there are various ways to get attention and raise awareness of the issue at hand. There's more than one way to make changes.”
Session four and five was back to the students to allow them to begin to develop ideas about how to put what they have learnt into practice. We were joined by Aisling Griffin, from Pax Christi during session four to help the students develop their plans. The students came up with some fantastic ideas and we hope that they will use the skills from this course to make a positive impact on the world driven by their passion for justice alongside faith.
Final comments from the students include:
“I have learned that I am not too young to make a change and that we need a plan to be able to change anything”.
“I just want to say thank you for this opportunity. I feel I've been heard and was reminded that my opinion matters and that I can do something in this world which few people especially during these times feel. Being given this hope and support to make changes is amazing”
“Please thank James for me, working with him has been a pleasure and inspiring. He's introduced me to a couple of amazing people and taught me a lot which I am very grateful for”.