The Catholic Agency for Justice, Peace and Development

Fairlie school raises $13,000 for Caritas Nepal aid

Event date: 
15 Jun 2015

St Joseph’s Primary School in Fairlie may be small in size, but the school of 45 students has shown they are big of heart by raising $13,000 for Caritas’ ongoing emergency relief work in Nepal.

Aiming to raise just $1,000 by auctioning their own artworks and works donated by local artists, the students’ expectations were far exceeded by what became a community event. Held on Friday, 5 June, the charity art auction attracted more than 100 people and donations were made by more than 70 artists and local businesses.

Year 6 student Ben Pawsey came up with the idea of an art auction to raise money for Nepal because art is his favourite subject, and “hopefully it will help them rebuild their houses and repair all the destruction that was done during the earthquakes”.

“The students felt a special empathy for the people of Nepal because they remember the Christchurch earthquakes and have felt rumbles themselves in Fairlie,” says St Joseph’s Principal Angela Marshall.

“Some people were concerned by news reports that money was not reaching people in Nepal, so I told the kids to call Caritas and ask whether the money raised will go directly to the people that need it.”

Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand is a member of a global Caritas confederation that responds to emergencies around the world, and has so far provided much needed shelter, water, food and hygiene kits to more than 137,000 Nepalese people in the worst affected areas of the country.

“Caritas is an established, well-respected organisation in Nepal, and is able to channel funds raised for crucial supplies directly to those most in need,” says Mark Mitchell, Humanitarian Programmes Coordinator for Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand.

“New Zealand and Nepal have close ties, and Ben Pawsey is part of a new generation that continues to strengthen those bonds.”

Caritas will accept the funds from students and teachers at St Joseph’s school on Wednesday, 17 June at 1pm.

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