A wonderful lesson in the wise stewardship of creation was given to us by the children from St Mary’s RC Primary School in Chipping, as part of the second Hungry for Change Challenge days funded by CAFOD and delivered by VinB trustees and volunteers.
The day began by introducing them to an indigenous culture in which all living things are seen as an integral part of their community, such that they name the trees, give thanks for all that nature provides and take from the natural world only what they need. A lovely example of how the children demonstrated their understanding of this deep respect for nature occurred after they were introduced to ‘Chi Chi’ a chicken that was sitting on six eggs. When the time came for the children to hunt for food for lunch, and by this time they were very hungry, they took just three of the eggs leaving the other three to hatch and continue the cycle of life. Later they discovered that the market trader with whom they were bartering had taken the other three eggs. The children were outraged! After telling the market trader what they thought of him they set about working as hard as they could to purchase the eggs. Having worked hard and forfeited food for themselves they bought the eggs and immediately returned them to the chicken.
The children went on to learn about land grabbing, unfair trading practices and the role international development agencies play in supporting the poor and marginalised. They also taught us how readily children empathise with nature given the opportunities to do so.