A group of 11 St Norbert College secondary students recently experienced a life-changing journey to Indonesia where they distributed 230 kilograms of goods to an orphanage, a tip school and a cancer hospice.
The students from years 10 and 11, along with five teachers, spent two weeks helping at a children’s refuge, a foundation for people with craniofacial disabilities and other agencies supported by the Helping Hands Across the Sands charity group.
They handed out clothing, toiletries, games, shoes, mops and buckets and fresh food supplies including Vegemite sandwiches to unfortunate locals.
Year 10 student Sydney Midgley said she had learnt more about herself and made real bonds with people.
“It was inspiring to see children’s happiness, gratitude and presentation at the tip school despite their situation,” she said.
St Norbert College Indonesian immersion organiser Margaret Kyd said students were selfless in their service.
“I think it enabled them to appreciate the blessings that they have in their lives and their families,” she said.
“For some it reaffirmed what they wanted to do after high school in terms of further education and careers and I think they also learnt that when you give of yourself 100 per cent, you actually receive so much in return.
“The rescue home was one of the saddest places I have ever seen.
There was no running water and it was a huge surprise to us all as children were sleeping in a hot room with not even sheets on their bed.’’
Ms Kyd said another highlight was the connection made with elderly patients at a cancer house in Sanur.
“I walked in to see our students massaging the patients’ hands and arms much to the absolute delight of the patients,’’ she said.
“They really gave these people a lot of joy and in return, our students enjoyed the experience.”