A GREENOCK secondary school is at the heart of an international aid charity's new campaign.

Pupils at Notre Dame High were chosen to launch the Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund (SCIAF) Wee Box appeal to support people facing hunger and poverty.

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People are being urged to give up a treat during the six weeks of Lent and put money away to help vulnerable communities in Africa, Asia and Latin America, who are suffering due to war or conflict.

John Paul McGovern, the school's principal RE teacher, said: “We were very happy to welcome SCIAF to Notre Dame High for the launch of this year’s Wee Box campaign.

"SCIAF is a charity our pupils are always keen to fundraise for, as they can see the variety of good works that are carried out across the world.

"As well as undertaking various fundraising activities during Lent this year we will be praying for all those that carry out this good work and for all those who SCIAF help.”

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The campaign begins on Wednesday, St Valentine's Day, and the charity's message is that giving up little things such as chocolate, coffee, wine or crisps, can make a big difference to people in crisis.

This year's Wee Box drive focuses on Rwanda, 30 years on from the genocide which claimed around one million lives there.

Ben Wilson, SCIAF’s public engagement director, said: “We are so grateful to Notre Dame High in Greenock  for giving us such a lovely welcome. Their support for people living in poverty around the world is really overwhelming.

“Our Lenten appeal this year is so important. There are so many wars and tragic things happening all over our world, which we witness every day on our television screens. But there are also ongoing struggles and injustices in countries across the world that we don’t hear much about, like in Rwanda.

“SCIAF’s work across Rwanda, driven by donations from the people of Scotland, focuses on supporting women and girls who have suffered abuse and discrimination. Working through local Rwandan organisations, SCIAF is supporting projects which help women and girls rebuild their lives, change social attitudes, and build a better future for themselves and their families.

“Please give what you can to the SCIAF appeal this year. Even a small donation makes a huge difference.”