A charitable initiative that helps persecuted Christians is seeking to raise £10,000 to pay for crucial food and aid resources.
The Scottish branch of Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) piloted the ‘Maisy Milk’ initiative in Scottish primary schools last year, and is hoping to help even more persecuted Christians this year. The fundraiser, now in its second year, sees schools and parishes fill an empty pint-sized milk carton with spare coins that will go towards 200 food baskets for Syrian Christians and 111 emergency aid packages for Christians in Nigeria. Persecution Over 1,700 Christians have been killed since the start of the Syrian war eight years ago and more than 600 others have been kidnapped. 1,309 churches and church properties have been destroyed and thousands of Christians’ homes have been damaged or left in ruin. In Nigeria’s Maiduguri Diocese, terrorism by Boko Haram has resulted in 15,000 orphans and 5,000 widows. Teaching schoolkids The Maisy Milk programme doubles up as a tool to teach primary school children about the atrocities faced by Christians in these countries. Schools who participate in fundraising will receive newsletters with stories from Syria and Nigeria tailored to suit primaries and updates on the campaign. On May 13, the charity will also launch the Maisy’s Milk Rosary where school pupils will pray for persecuted Christians and to Our Lady of Fatima, patron saint of ACN. Positive reaction Teachers at Coatbridge and Glasgow primary schools, where the fundraiser was launched last year, spoke positively of the initiative. “We love the cartons that sat on desks and gave a real focus,” one school said. Another added: “We let our P7 children lead the pilot and this took the major admin off the teachers and it’s great for the children’s Pope Francis Faith Awards.” A spokesperson for St Louise’s Primary School, Coatbridge, said: “Goodbye Maisy for now! You have brightened up our classrooms and encouraged generosity in children and families of St Louise. “We collected £444.07 over the past six weeks for ACN in Scotland and said prayers for everyone who will receive this money.”