OUR country’s future is in safe hands, the co-ordinator of Cork’s oldest charity told second-class pupils in Scoil Barra Naofa in Monkstown after they had raised €1,461.56 to help children in war-torn Ukraine.
The primary school pupils raised the money with two cake sales — one before Easter, which had raised €659, and a more recent sale, which had raised €800.
Yesterday four Scoil Barra Naofa pupils presented a cheque to Cork Penny Dinners co-ordinator Caitríona Twomey. The money will help to purchase electricity generators for orphanages in Ukraine.
Ms Twomey is leading a group of volunteers from Cork Penny Dinners on a mission to deliver over 70 tonnes of humanitarian aid to Ukrainian refugees in Poland at the end of the month.
This will be the third visit to the Polish-Ukrainian border by Cork Penny Dinners volunteers, who have already brought out over 80 tonnes of aid, all donated by the people of Cork, to the border region.
Ms Twomey told the Scoil Barra Naofa second-class pupils that what they had done was an act of decency and kindness that would stay with them throughout their lives.
She also told them that they had helped to save the lives of children their own age and younger.
“Our future is safe when we have children like you helping other children in need and our hearts are truly grateful for the work you have done,” Ms Twomey said.
“You’re just amazing people and we are so proud of you.”
Pupil Poppy Linehan said she felt she and her friends had done a good thing.
“I kind of feel proud because I feel if everyone plays their part we can make a big difference in the world,” Poppy told The Echo.
Her friend, Aoife Uí Shuilleabháin, said she and her classmates had been upset that children living in Ukraine were being hurt.
“Some are sick and loads of people are dying, and we’re just trying to help them,” Aoife said.
Gabriella Dolan said the idea for the bake sale had come from “all of us, basically”. She said the pupils had worked together with a little parental assistance.
“We did the baking and the moms all helped out by organising and all that,” Gabriella said.
Rachel Quigley said other pupils had helped out too, especially their friends Emily and Gabi, who were not in school the day the cheque was presented to Ms Twomey.
Rachel added that there were very few cakes left at the end of the bake sale and there was much giggling when The Echo reporter asked what had become of those leftover cakes.
“We ate them all,” Rachel replied as she and her friends roared laughing.
“It was the logical thing to do,” Gabriella said, agreeing with The Echo’s suggestion that it was both logical and yummy.
Scoil Barra Naofa principal Ger O’Brien said she was very proud of all of her students, who were a credit to their school.