CATHOLIC pupils throughout the country often go above and beyond in their efforts to raise money for Missio Scotland, but one student travelling with the charity on the upcoming mission experience trip to Zambia has quite literally hit the heights with her charitable endeavours.
Georgia Duffy, a fifth year student at St Mungo’s Academy in Glasgow, recently undertook a sponsored skydive in St Andrews (above) as part of her group’s fundraising activities and raised nearly £600 on the day as a result. Despite the dive taking place some 10,000 feet above land, Georgia wasn’t at all phased by the high octane activity.
“The skydive was a 16th birthday present from my gran and I had been really looking forward to it,” Georgia said. “I wasn’t scared at all to be honest because I’m a bit of a thrill-seeker, but we had to postpone it until the weather improved. As we, at St Mungo’s, were raising funds in a variety of different ways, I just thought that this would be another good opportunity to raise funds for the GIG mission experience to Zambia and I was delighted to be able to do that.”
Martin Mann, Religious Education teacher at St Mungo’s, who is accompanying the group from the school to Zambia, was fulsome in his praise of the fundraising efforts of the five students who will be embarking on the trip this month as they have now not only covered their own costs, but raised invaluable extra funds too.
“Through various fundraising events stretching from bag-packing to race nights, the five pupils at St Mungo’s Academy—participating in the Missio Scotland led experience to Zambia, along with myself and my fellow teacher, Mr Chris Gallagher—and their parents have raised nearly £5000, which will go towards supporting some of the projects we will visit,” Mr Mann said. “This is a fantastic example of the young people exhibiting the schools motto of nil sine labore (nothing without work) as they worked hard to grasp this unique opportunity. These young people will also be undertaking the Caritas Award upon their return in S6 and, in so doing, will be taking on a lead role in maintaining the excellent Catholic ethos of the school that has permeated the academy since its foundation in 1858.”
The students of Taylor High School in Motherwell, who are also joining the St Mungo’s group and the Missio Scotland staff on the trip, have been similarly impressive in terms of their own fundraising efforts. During a final meeting with Sister Stacey Cameron—who initiated the GIG mission experience programme in 2016 and has been responsible for running it since its inception—the group presented her with a cheque for £7000 (above), which will also go towards supporting the life-giving projects in Zambia that the students will visit.
“I’m extremely proud of the hard work undertaken by the Taylor High School girls and indeed the efforts of the GIG 2018 group in not only meeting the costs of the trip but raising extra funds,” Sr Stacey said. “This money will make a huge difference to the lives of the people that the students will meet while on the mission experience. I’d also like to thank those who have supported us by donating items such as baby clothes that we will take with us to distribute upon our arrival.”
Missio Scotland, the Scottish branch of the Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS)—the Pope’s own charity and official mission aid agency of the Catholic Church—thanks in no small part to the hard work of Sr Stacey, launched its Get Involved Globally (GIG) mission experience programme in 2016. The programme aims to offer a small group of adults or students the opportunity to visit church and school communities in an overseas country for 10-14 days. Each Missio Scotland GIG experience comprises of a three phase process: preparation, the in-country experience and a debriefing and follow-up.
The purpose of these mission experiences is for the participants to experience life, faith and justice from a new perspective and return home inspired to live a personal sense of ‘mission’ in Scotland. A mission experience aims to touch the heart, engage the mind and nourish the spirit and will see participants spending time with the local community, sharing stories and being with people—including visiting those who care for the sick, look after orphans, teach children and many other initiatives through the programmes run by our mission partners.
If you would like to learn more about Missio Scotland’s GIG mission experience programme you can visit: http://www.missioscotland.com/volunteer