For Lent Event this year, Victoria Park and Districts Star Street Uniting Church decided to adopt the Sri Lankan Interfaith Pre-school Program, setting a target of $2400, which will feed 20 children for a year. The Uniting Church in WA agreed at its annual Synod meeting in 2013 to support the program which is run by the Methodist Church in Sri Lanka.
On the first Sunday of Lent, while the adults were in church listening to Rosemary Hudson Miller, associate general secretary, justice and mission at the Uniting Church in WA, speaking about her experience in Sri Lanka, the children had special activities focused on the appeal. They heard about the appeal, learnt to count to five in Tamil, looked at the Tamil words for ‘Heads, shoulders, knees and toes’, learnt a Sri Lankan hymn by Dr D T Niles and decorated some figures.
As a ‘barometer’ for the success of the appeal, a display was set up in the church foyer with enlargements of some of Rosemary’s photos taken in the pre-schools, surrounded by 20 figures. These figures are facing the viewer, with their hands outstretched in an appeal for help. When $120 has been raised, a bowl of food and a glass of milk are placed onto the hands of one of the figures. The children dressed the figures, added some decoration to their clothing or features, and gave some of the figures a bindi – a decorative jewel on the forehead. Then they brightly coloured the food bowls.
At the end of the first day of the program, more than $1080 had been raised and nine figures now had their milk and food bowl filled.
The next fund raising event was a Bollywood night; eating curries and appropriate accompaniments, trying out Bollywood dancing and playing games. Other funds came in from many personal donations by members of the congregation, some of whom ‘gave up’ something for Lent and put in the proceeds. The Church Council topped off the appeal with a straight donation.
Star Street Uniting Church is proud to announce that at the end of Lent it had raised enough for 21 children to be fed.