Ciara Bradley (St Ambrose High School, Coatbridge, and Scotland Malawi Project—Healthy Lifestyle):
Along with Vann, I recently had the opportunity to volunteer with the healthy lifestyle project in Malawi. That was made possible via support from North Lanarkshire educational trust scheme, local fundraisers, and St Patrick’s and St Augustine’s Roman Catholic parishes in Coatbridge. My family and parish and the schools of St Augustine’s and St Ambrose have helped to make me aware of poverty, here and beyond.
I feel that it is good to try to make a positive contribution to the development of Malawi, a country greatly disabled by its colonised past. Like other countries, Malawi can be viewed as an opportunity to look beyond our selfishness and to change things by reaching out and sharing what we have with our fellow brothers and sisters around the globe. My experience in Malawi, especially in visiting the women’s prison, brings to mind the reflection that how we live in the west shapes how others survive elsewhere, as well as the moral principle, “Live simply that others may simply live.” That is the lesson that I have learned from being able to share in the healthy lifestyle project. We thank those who made that possible, particularly our fundraisers, teachers at the school and Mr Charles Fawcett.
On behalf of Vann and me, thank you, Presiding Officer, for this opportunity to take part in time for reflection.