This Term we had the great pleasure of a visit from Mr. Veazey, the Head of the United Girls’ Schools’ Mission in South London. The Mission is keeping its twenty-first birthday this year. Twenty-one years ago Mr. Veazey was asked to start it off the Old Kent Road. Six schools supported it then, and there were 7,000 people to look after. Now there are 112 schools and 30,000 people. The idea was that the girls themselves should do the work as far as possible.
A number of problems had to be tackled, just in the way that problems in mathematics have to be tackled. There was the housing problem 7,000 people crowded together on a space about the size of our playing fields. How to give them more fresh air? The schools could not send them fresh air, but they could bring them to the fresh air. So, the girls of the various schools began to invite them down to the country for a day or longer. Thousands of people went.
Then there were the invalid children who could not go to school to learn. Old Girls came round to teach them, and in many cases got them special medical attention, through which they ceased to be invalids.
Next, the Poverty Problem. People regularly died of “Famine Fever” (i.e. starvation). The Mission started a Provident Club. Old Girls went round during the early part of the week and col feet ed. The money mounted up, and supplied boots, clothes, &c. Our system was used by the Government when the War Savings collecting was started.
Then a girl who had worked at the Mission during, the very bad “out of work” winter, had to go to Germany. While there she studied the German methods of dealing with unemployment, came back and started a scheme which worked so well that the Government adopted it for the whole of London, and eventually embodied it in the Unemployment Relief Act.
Then there was the Heathen Problem. People just drifted along) anyhow. “Nobody cared.” But when people and girls began to care – supplied letters and flowers, and country visits, their hearts were touched and they began to believe that God might care too. Hundreds now pray and go to Church and work for Foreign Missions.
Such Missions are wanted everywhere -and everywhere there are problems needing solving. If, while girls are still at school, they will train themselves through grappling with the problems that face them in such things as arithmetic, geometry, Latin, history, bravely and patiently, then there is good hope that when they are women they will manage to solve many of those terrible problems in the world that have defied solution these many years.
G. E. STEER.