Timor neighbours change lives

Visit to Balibo

A trip to East Timor has had a profound impact on nine Tenison Woods College students after they visited orphanages, schools, a leprosy clinic and kindergartens, reports The Southern Cross.

“The people of East Timor have taught me there’s more to life than material objects,” said student Sophie Pulford, who was part of the Mt Gambier college’s immersion trip in July.

Year 12 student Olivia Fabris said: “Meeting the people and seeing how they live was truly a life-changing experience for me.”It was the College’s second Catholic Mission Getting Involved Globally (GIG) immersion trip.

Teacher Bernadette Fisher said the visit made a profound impact on students, resulting in many discussions on faith and culture and a renewed vision for world change.“GIG is a cross-cultural immersion program that provides a unique opportunity of experiential learning for (students),” she said.

“It challenges (them) to see, feel and act in a new way.”Mrs Fisher, one of three teachers to accompany the students, said the visit had given the teenagers a first-hand experience of life in a third world country.The students, aged from 15 to 18, visited the Dominican Orphanage in Bidau, Dili, where they helped children with homework and played ball games.

They also distributed personal hygiene packs put together by the College’s Years 6 and 7 Social Justice students and stationery packs created by the Junior School See Think Act representatives.The immersion trip group donated more than $5800 to various centres and organisations they visited.

Photo:Sarah Croser and Chloe Lynch with local children in Balibo

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