Saving lives – one rice bowl at a time

“Daddy, why haven’t I met your parents? Do you have any pictures of them?”

The Rice Bowls and Catholic Relief Services touch and save lives every day. This afternoon, students in 4th to 8th grade met Thomas Awiapo. Growing up in a small village in Ghana, Thomas’ parents died when he was very young. His oldest brother ran away and his two younger brothers died of hunger.

Catholic Relief Services established a school near Thomas’ home. While he hated school, Thomas walked the 5 miles to and from school in search for the little “snack.” The cream of wheat changed his life. Food, education, and a life.

Thomas is a living testimony of our Lenten sacrifices. Donations to CRS and the Rice Bowls truly change and save lives.

Thomas told the students not to take their parents for granted. He misses his parents every day. He also told the students not to take their birthdays for granted. Without a birth certificate, Thomas has had to guess his birthday. Even his birth year is a complete guess.

Thanks to Catholic Relief Services, Thomas’ live is forever changed. His four kids will never have to experience the pain of hunger because education is the greatest gift you can give a child.

The little “snack” of cream of wheat got Thomas to school. Thomas encouraged the students to think what little “snack” they could give to each other – a smile, hug, help on an assignment, love.

He asked the students that if they were ever tempted to waste food, to think of his siblings who are not here because they didn’t have enough to eat.

Lastly, Thomas told the students to give their parents a hug tonight, to never take them for granted.