At Saint Christina’s we were inspired by, and have been very keen to support the ‘Eyes On You’ Campaign that CAFOD have been running to coincide with COP26. We decided that we would like to send a digital ‘letter’ from the children to world leaders to express our thoughts and see if we could elicit any response.
The ‘Eyes’ are a real expression of the whole of our School community: our site manager made the frame, the Sisters in the Convent stitched the canvas, the children and staff produced the handprints and the artwork and a member of our office staff put the video together. The aim of the project has been to teach the whole of our community that we can engage with these big issues, whilst also bringing us all together on a big team project – good for cohesion and well-being. The blue represents the sea and the sky, the brown is the earth and the green, life. The iris is meant to look like an iris but also the earth from space, so the message is that our eyes are on our planet. There are a mixture of hand prints and messaging that we have incorporated around and within the iris.
This is to show that all the pupils in our School come with our hands open in a gesture of request and in peace: we would like ‘self and profit’ to be put to one side and the ‘common good’ to be recognised within the decisions being made by world leaders both at the conference and in their national policies.
At the heart of our video is an attempt to remind leaders that the climate crisis should not be politics as usual but that there should be a recognition that this is about life and the survival of our richly endowed and unique world, in the long term. We have challenged world leaders to think about the decisions they are making from a real-world perspective, rather than from a more theoretical and statistical viewpoint: “Think of me as your grandfather … your mother … your son …Think of me as your grandchild: what will the world look like when I grow up?”
At Saint Christina’s we have been giving a lot of thought to the ‘big job’ that we have been given by God as stewards of the beautiful world we live in. We know that different leaders will have different beliefs, but we also know that whatever those beliefs are, this is the only world that we have to inhabit, and that we should therefore all come together and do what we can to look after it.
We think that it is good to be passionate about issues and that it is okay to muster the courage to speak up and to write to important people and ask them to consider our views. We hope that our digital letter will be heard by those with the power to act and that they might just remember that their grandchild will be the one who inherits the world formed by their decisions at COP26 and over the next few years – what will the world look like when they grow up?
The children have really enjoyed putting everything together and have enjoyed learning about the issues we are addressing. We had great fun taking over Primrose Hill for a short while as we made our video. They have loved making the video and talking about the eyes, so all in all, this project has been a great source of growth and learning.
We have been very excited to have had a response from the Belgian Ambassador and are looking forward to seeing if anyone else gets back to us.