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What is Mission Together?
Mission Together is the Catholic Church’s official overseas mission aid agency for children. As one of the four Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS) it is active in 110 countries throughout the world.
Based on the motto 'children helping children', Mission Together encourages a concern for children worldwide by prayer, learning activities and fund-raising in Catholic primary schools. It supports children in the developing parts of the world by serving their pastoral and their physical needs.
How does Mission Together work in Schools in England and Wales?
Each year Mission Together produces free school materials which focus on one developing country. These introduce children to the work of Mission Together in that country. Materials are designed to fit in with the Here I Am national RE Programme but may also be used independently.
Each year an assembly is produced telling the stories of children helped through a Mission Together project. Diocesan School Coordinators are available to visit primary schools with assembly and other materials that enable the children to learn about missionary activity in a specific country and how they too can help by their prayers and by fundraising.
For free materials or to arrange a school assembly please contact your Diocesan Director or go to the Mission Together Website: www.missiontogether.org.uk.
What materials are available and how much do they cost?
All Mission Together materials are FREE, these include:
- Mission Together Newsletter for individual child use
- Teacher Notes to accompany the children’s newsletter which give background information, Key Stage Activities and a school liturgy
- CD for teachers provides extra activity sheets, background information, photos and music
- School liturgies and assembly are sent each term to schools via the Catholic Teachers’ Gazette as well as through several Diocesan RE offices
- Advent Materials: Many schools make Mission Together their Advent project and encourage their children to prepare for Christmas by praying and sharing with children worldwide. Special activities and liturgies are available to support this.
How does Mission Together differ from other organizations helping children in developing countries?
Mission Together supports a wide range of practical projects that help children overcome poverty and injustice. Its concern is the development of the ‘whole ch ild’ and therefore it also encourages children’s spiritual development through pastoral and catechetical programmes. Mission Together's aim is unique: to enable children to become aware of their baptismal responsibility to make Jesus Christ and his love known to others - to share their faith.
Mission Together helps young people understand the universal nature of the Catholic Church and recognize that they themselves are missionaries today, in prayer and sacrifice, reaching out to children all over the world.
How do children raise funds for Mission Together?
Children are encouraged to raise funds in any way appropriate to a particular school or parish. To support children’s efforts some free fund raising materials are available. These include:
- Mission Together boxes for saving coins
- Stickers and Prayer Cards to encourage the children’s prayer and efforts
- Some children make substantial personal sacrifices by sharing their birthday gift money, pocket money or money they have received for small jobs around the home.
Does Mission Together only help Catholic children?
Mission Together cares for all children regardless of their religious affiliation.
How many children are helped through Mission Together projects worldwide?
Mission Together Worldwide collects approximately Ј11 million and supports 3,500 projects throughout the whole world which helped make a real difference to the lives of 4 million children in 160 countries around the world.
Because of the nature of many of the projects, for example, building a school, the benefit for children is ongoing and long lasting.
What kinds of projects does Mission Together support?
They include; providing food, clothes, medical care, access to clean and safe drinking water to children - in schools, orphanages, on the street, building and providing resources for schools, day care centres and dispensaries.
We do not send resources and supplies directly to the projects – we encourage our partners to buy locally, to use appropriate technology and easily available materials.
Which children do we help?
Many children in developing countries suffer from hunger, disease and poverty. The projects supported through Mission Together vary to meet both immediate and long term needs. All projects encourage communities to be active participants not passive recipients of projects and their funding.
How are projects for children determined?
Local communities request the funds for their particular needs. In their applications, details such as local contributions (financial, labour, volunteer and the like), costs, children’s needs in the community and numbers of children benefiting are listed.
Why doesn’t Mission Together sponsor individual children?
Mission Together is different from child sponsorship programmes because one child is not singled out for help; rather whole communities of children benefit from the financial assistance. Grants are sent to mission dioceses throughout the world according to need. This system of allocating funds helps ensure that aid is distributed fairly and that those who are most desperately in need receive enough support.
How much of the money collected is spent on projects overseas?
In England and Wales only 2% of the money raised by children is retained for administration costs. The rest is sent directly to Mission Together projects. Other costs (e.g. for educational and fundraising materials) are kept to a minimum and included in the overall PMS budget for educational purposes.
What are the origins of Mission Together?
The Holy Childhood Association (Mission Together) was founded in 1842 by Charles Forbin-Janson, Bishop of Nancy, France, who was deeply affected by the distress of Chinese children abandoned in the streets. He was convinced that, even though young and needing care and help, every child is capable of playing his or her part in the Church’s mission. He strongly believed in the dignity of children and founded Mission Together with the objective of ‘children helping children’ – our unique motto.
The response to the Bishop’s appeal was extraordinary. In only a few years his work of helping children overseas spread, not only through France, but all over Europe, North America, Asia and Africa. Over the years, many thousands of projects and millions of children have been part of Mission Together.