14 August 2017

Community and Service

Encounters: Personal Stories - of Insight and Inspiration and Challenge

North Balga Primary School Visit

The Year 5 students from Scotch College visited North Balga Primary School as part of their immersion for their PYP Exhibition this term. The Exhibition is taking place under the banner of 'challenges, risks and opportunities may lead to migration'. The multi-cultural nature of the students at North Balga gave the boys real life experiences of what it means to be an immigrant to Australia. The North Balga community put on some fantastic cultural activities for our students. Amongst others this included Russian folk dancing, Burmese Karen singing, The Haka and lots of others. Mrs Tabu shared her heart wrenching story of her journey to Australia. Just one part of this included a three-year long walk from Burundi to Tanzania with her family before she finally arrived in Australia. There were many other moving stories the North Balga community shared with our students who found the experience a very informative and emotional one.

Tranby Day Centre

Year 10 boys who visit the UnitingCare West - Tranby Day Centre undergo a five-week programme on the issue of homelessness in Perth. Staff at the centre, who deal with around 120 homeless clients per day, lead the boys through a series of activities, aimed at highlighting the plight of Perth's homeless and the role played by agencies such as UnitingCare West. As part of the programme, boys listen to clients willing to share their personal stories. Invariably, this is a powerful encounter and boys come away with an altered perception of homelessness. On other visits, boys visit the places in East Perth and Northbridge frequented by homeless and they come to understand the hardship of living on the streets.

Romily House

For a number of years, Scotch boys have been visiting 'Romily House' - a local care facility for residents coping with Paranoid Schizophrenia. Typically, boys play board games with residents and spend time talking to them about their lives. The encounters, whether casual or organized by staff, leave boys with a much deeper understanding of the condition and the difficulties of managing the symptoms. The boys quickly realize that the condition can afflict anyone.

Tanzania

The group of Scotch boys and PLC girls on the Tanzania Expedition encountered many people with inspiring stories. One was Furahini Godlike Mmbakweni, a young man with a huge ambition to change the world for the better. He is a business student and recent graduate of one of the poorest high schools in Dar es Salaam. For the past five years, Furahini has set about connecting this community to the world and along the way establish programme to improve nutrition, recycle products and beautify his local area. His enthusiasm and drive has been recognized through numerous awards national and international awards. He was selected to attend a young leaders conference Washington DC and served as President of the Australia Tanzania Young Ambassador Club for Dar es Salaam. In this role he addressed the visiting group - a truly inspiring encounter!

These encounters are some of the many that come through a service-learning programme where boys are exposed to individuals and groups coping with a variety of challenges. The sometimes-confronting stories deliver strong messages based on life experience. They also help boys to understand the role of service agencies and where they possible can assist as individuals. These encounters an integral part of service programme based on the Scotch College Service Model.

service model