Australia: February 13

Today was the first day working out “in the field,” i.e., going around to speak in schools and churches.  In the morning we went to De La  Salle College (high school) in Ashfield to talk with a student leadership group. In the afternoon it was back to the Caritas office where I made a call to a donor and had another interview for media.

The 30+ students were attending what Caritas Australia calls a Junior Leadership Day. Here Elise, the Caritas trainer, speaks to those chosen as leaders from their schools about Caritas and Project Compassion.
Elise then led the students through four activities to illustrate some of the needs of the world’s poor and possible solutions to them. Here she helps a group with a virtual reality set up to enable them to have a more dramatic experience of situations in Nepal and Cambodia.
Another activity was called a jenga, a game in which colored blocks were pulled from a stack of painted wooden blocks in the colors of Caritas Australia’s Project Compassion posters.
A third activity involved actually planning how these student leaders would promote participation in Project Compassion back in their schools.
A fourth activity was a physical exercise, carrying large containers of water repeatedly around the gym to help get the experience of so many women who trek long distances each day acquiring water.
At the end the leaders from each school were presented with a Caritas candle to take back to their school.
And finally there was a group photo as the day concluded.

We Caritas Australia people packed up all the materials and then returned to the Caritas office.  Once there I had a telephone call with a major donor who has supported the Deaf Development Programme, and there was another media interview that we taped for future use.