Bennies Buzz 2015 Autumn - page 10

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Bennies Buzz
May 2015
The Year 11 girls spent eighteen months raising $10,000 to
give to four Filipino organisations that work with people in
need. During their preparation, the girls learnt about the
great divide of wealth and poverty in the Philippines as
well as the life changing work that is being done to
assist families and particularly children in overcoming
the barriers of poverty.
The immersion was very much a trip of friendship that
allowed the group to witness first-hand the hope that is
present in challenging circumstances.
The highlight of the trip for many was the visit to the Good
Samaritan Kinder School at Bacolod. Here the ministry of
the Sisters of the Good Samaritan is truly transforming lives.
The Kinder School caters for families who live in extreme
poverty with most families living in an area called The
Boulevard, a village community that has developed because
families have nowhere else to live. Houses are built of any
found material and it was evident to the girls to see the
extreme effects of malnutrition in the children. The Sisters
have begun a feeding program in this area and are able to
feed a child for 20 cents a day. The group were fortunate to
be able to join them for the Kinder School Christmas party
which is the highlight of their school year.
PREDA was the last organisation that the group visited,
which rescues young victims of abuse and trafficking. This
was a confronting part of the trip for most members. The
girls reflected that behind the smiling faces of the children
they interacted with were often very sad stories. The girls
were especially moved to find out that the money they
donated will rescue a boy from an overcrowded jail and allow
him to be supported at PREDA for an entire year.
The entire experience was a transformative one for Mrs
Donna Dempsey who was one of the staff accompanying
the girls. “The people of the Philippines are resilient and
place much of this hope in their Catholic faith. Anyone
who has visited a developing country is immediately
overwhelmed by the strong contrast between Australians
and Filipinos. The technology, housing, medical care
and even education are so different and highlight how
lucky Australians are. It also makes you aware of the
responsibility we have to value what we have, as well
as question our ability to live more simply.”
MSB Mission in the Philippines
At the end of a school year, many teenagers look forward to socialising with
their friends and sleeping in. However eight students and three staff members
including College Principal, Mrs Maria Pearson decided to challenge themselves
with visiting a number of human rights organisations and charities in the
Philippines over seventeen days.
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