Year 6 students sleep rough for Caritas

25 Nov 2016   |   Blog   |   Supporter action

Tags:  education, Supporter action, fundraising   |   No comments

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While most of us were sleeping comfortably in our beds on the night of November 3, a group of Year 6 students were sleeping rough on cardboard boxes on their school grounds.

It wasn’t a cruel and unusual punishment; in fact it was something the students did by choice, to raise awareness for those living in extreme poverty. The students from Our Lady of Mount Carmel (OLMC) in Hilton, WA raised over $2200 for Caritas in what their teacher Steven Carrabs says was an example of ‘prayer in action’.

The evening began with a 6km walk, plastic buckets in hand, to collect a water allotment for the night from nearby Seton Catholic College. This gave the students an insight into the lives of those who walk great distances for water, but it was the rough sleep outside that had the biggest impact.

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“They were not allowed toiletries, soap or toothpaste and were not allowed to change clothes,” said Mr Carrabs. “Many of them had rough sleeps and found it sad to imagine people having to live without the basics we take for granted.”

With only sleeping bags and each other for warmth, the students inspired family, friends and neighbours to donate over $2200 towards Caritas Australia’s ‘Caritas Ks’ initiative.

“The money raised was the most I have ever been a part of in my 10+ years of teaching,” said Mr Carrabs. “The students were blown away.”

Mr Carrabs was extremely proud of the understanding, maturity and effort of his students. “The students used their voices and actions to contribute to social justice. They are young people who genuinely care,” he said.

On Friday November 18, Caritas Australia’s Justice Educator for WA/NT – Anita Finneran – was honoured to attend and speak at an OLMC school assembly, where she acknowledged the great social justice initiatives of the students, staff and local community.

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“Visiting the school was such a privilege,” she said. “Their passion for justice was evident in their generous donation. The powerful action of walking 6 kilometres with buckets of water and the sleep rough night provided the whole community with an opportunity to ‘walk in solidarity’ with the marginalised and those we serve in our global family.”

Congratulations to all the students at OLMC – your actions are making a difference in the world!


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