Listening to the Cries of the Poor

'Environment Matters' Blog | Listening to the Cries of the Poor

Posted 26 June 2023 by Catholic Education in 'Environment Matters' Blog

In Laudato Si' we are challenged to listen to the cries of the earth and the cries of the poor and recently listening ears were indeed wide open at Ss Peter and Paul Kiama when 33 Year 5 and 6 students participated in the VINNIES WINTER SLEEPOUT as part of their continuing journey of mission.

Through doing a sleep out, the Mini Vinnies students were able to gain a deeper understanding of homelessness and authentically raise awareness of the realities faced by people experiencing homelessness. So far the team has raised $1,003 exceeding their initial goal of $700.

Picture 1a 

During the evening Kelly McCrohon, Illawarra Vinnies Van Coordinator spoke to the students about the plight of the homeless and connecting their fundraising efforts to supporting Vinnies in the Kiama area. It was a night of games, discussion, action, song and prayer. Majella from the Mini Vinnies Team stated, “This experience really opened my eyes to how tough the living conditions are for those who are homeless, especially during the winter months”. 

Picture 1.bpng

The sleep out went from 6 - 9pm and students had the experience of building their own shelters from cardboard and were required to bring a simple dinner e.g. a cup of noodles, a thermos and a sandwich which they ate inside their shelter. Following this they were able to encounter the discomfort and challenge of sleeping out. Violet from the Mini Vinnies Team stated, “I experienced something new in my life that I have never felt before. I feel grateful to have a roof over my head and a warm bed to go home to every night and can empathise with people living on the streets”.

Picture 1d2

The students were also able to link the sleep out to the desperate living conditions for those who have been impacted by the floods. So many are sleeping in tents and cars. Diana Marentis the Mini Vinnies leader said, “We want to bring a sense of what many Australians are dealing with to our students”. Emma Rayner, Religious Education Coordinator, added, “Hopefully it will inspire them to fight for social justice as they grow to adulthood”.




View all stories in 'Environment Matters' Blog. View All News and Events.