Merici College reaches out to the community
In 2018 Merici College students have embraced the College’s 2018 Year of Youth with the central theme of Spreading Joy.
Students have responded to the call to step out of their comfort zones by making themselves available to serve others, particularly those most in need, and contributing to the creation of a more just and compassionate society.
As part of the College’s Christian Service Learning Project, Year 9 and 10 students participated in service to others to care for those in need in some way, during the year.
Through preparation and journaling activities students explored the significance of developing relationships with people who may not be considered the most important members of our community but who nevertheless have much to offer.
Year 7 students were also involved in Christian Service during the year, assisting their families, neighbours and school community.
The Merici College Christian Service Learning Program in Year 9 encouraged the students to reach out to and come to respect and appreciate the experience and gifts that elderly people in the community have to offer.
Each student was required to complete a service placement during school time at Goodwin House in Ainslie. The students were required to reflect on their experiences during their Christian Service, which will assist them to develop their understanding and empathy for the experience and dignity of elderly citizens.
This has been a wonderful opportunity for the students to develop their confidence and skills as a servant leader; displaying empathy and a broader understanding of our elderly community.
The Year 10 cohort was required to complete 25 hours of service where the students were able to connect this opportunity to serve others in need, with their relationship to a loving God through this process.
Variety of agencies
Students volunteered at various agencies of their choice throughout Canberra and surrounding areas with the majority of the time spent with those in need.
Some students chose to return to their old primary schools to assist teachers during this very busy time of the year, others worked in agencies which directly connected with the under-privileged members of our community.
Some students completed their placement at aged care facilities, early childhood centres, day care centres, Ronald McDonald House, Vinnies stores and OzHarvest.
The Christian Service Learning Program also encouraged many students from Years 7-12 to volunteer at various charity events throughout the year such as the Vinnies Doorknock Appeal, CanLine and DonateLife Walk.
This program is such a rewarding learning experience for the students, encouraging these young people to lead the way in giving back to the community and ensuring that, as we are nearing Christmas, we contribute in a positive way to build a more compassionate society.
It is exciting to see the growth of this program over the past few years since its inception and look forward to it expanding further in 2019.
- Amy Connellan is the Merici College Head of Mission and Community