St. Ignatius Catholic School students Years 7 to 13 took part in a Poverty Day event on 22 March, organised by the Sixth Form Prefect Team and led by head prefects Kelsey Huggins and Danielle Borden.
The purpose of the Poverty Day was to provide the students with the opportunity to experience for one school day what it is like to be poor and less fortunate than many children around the world.
All the secondary students and staff came to school dressed in simple clothing. Before school started the students entered “Passport Control” where they received a stamp which signified their food rations for the day. After this, they walked several laps of the field to symbolise the long walk to school that children in many Third World countries must walk to school. Mass was then celebrated in the courtyard for the whole school, where the focus was put on the Beatitudes and our duty to help others less fortunate.
All classes throughout the day were conducted without the benefit of air conditioning, fans or lights. At break time the students only had rice to eat and only soup was available at lunch, with the students sitting on the floor.
Many students said how they were more appreciative of the relative luxuries they have in their lives compared with many around the world. It also instilled a sense of obligation to help those who live in conditions of poverty, and through contributions from the students and staff, the school was able to raise funds to donate to 27 people through the international charity, Kiva.
St. Francis of Assisi tells us: “For it is in giving that we receive”. The Sixth Form Prefect Team hopes this event will continue for many years to come as a reminder of how fortunate we are in the Cayman Islands, and, in the words of Mahatma Gandhi that we must “be the change you want to see in the world.”