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Socking it to poverty


A kindergarten in Thailand for children from vulnerable and disadvantaged backgrounds is just one of the many projects that will be supported through the World Mission Month Appeal running during October.

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Established to provide care for the children of women working at a skills training workshop run by the Good Shepherd Sisters, the Kindergarten Centre has expanded to now take in local children who would otherwise miss out on crucial early childhood education.

“We find that it’s helpful for the family, especially those who live close by to us. Most of the children in the centre come from poor families nearby,” said Sr Chalaad who runs the centre.

Diocesan director for Catholic Mission in Adelaide, Tony Johnston, said the annual appeal would assist many overseas projects like the kindergarten.

“Each year the second last Sunday of October is dedicated as World Mission Sunday and this is a reminder of the importance of the work of the mission,” he said.

“Through prayer and material support we reach out to the mission churches, those that are persecuted, fragile and lack the resources we often take for granted.”

Mission month is also celebrated through the Socktober challenge, with students from 52 Catholic schools across South Australia signed up to participate this year.

Through the program students create a sockball like those found on playgrounds across Africa – using old socks, T-shirts, bubble wrap and a plastic shopping bag – and participate in tournaments at their school.

While a fun activity, it also serves as a reminder that many children around the world cannot afford to buy a ‘proper’ soccer ball. The challenge consists of six modules filled with activities, reflections and goals so that Australian students learn the reality of children in situations of need, can empathise with them and take action to make a positive difference in their lives.

Catholic Mission is the Australian agency of the Pontifical Mission Societies.

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