Children at the Belmont Primary School have been given
a lesson in empathy and compassion, and they passed with top grades.
Exposed to information on the destruction caused by recent hurricanes in several Caribbean islands, the five to 11-year-olds responded gladly with gifts for their regional neighbours.
Guided by the theme Cans For A Cause, students
were asked to bring at least one canned item to give to a worthy cause.
At the end of the process, so successful was the drive that the school filled six boxes with groceries that included items such as tuna, sardines and corned beef, along with 12 cases of bottled water to be shipped to the various affected islands.
Infants A teacher Erica Lashley, who spearheaded the project, told Barbados TODAY the drive’s focus was to inform students about the level of destruction natural disasters can cause, while at the same time, allowing the youngsters to show care for others by giving freely.
“The initiative was basically to raise awareness of the impact of hurricanes. We identified some of the countries, mainly Dominica, Saint Maarten, Tortola and Antigua and Barbuda and we asked the students to wear a T-shirt that represented the colours in the flag of one of those countries and bring one canned item.”
Lashley added: “I wanted them to know that since Barbados is a Caribbean island, something like that could happen to us, and so we needed to be aware and grateful that it didn’t happen and to show empathy.
“I was telling them if something was to happen to us, we would want other countries to help us out.”
And while some students had already started giving donations to various causes long before Hurricane Maria damaged neighbouring Caribbean islands, Lashley said she was extremely happy with the response of the pupils who teamed up with Savings Plus and the nearby Rubis gas station in My Lords Hill, St Michael for the project.
“Honestly speaking from a teachers’ point I was very pleased with what I saw. From the time the term started we were doing the drive in the school so students were already donating.
“The response was really good; everybody in the school donated and there were some children who brought plastic bags filled with items.”
As part of the project pupils were shown videos of the destruction and informed where their donations of food and other items were going.