Hundreds of Lutherans recently walked 26 kilometres in South Australia to fund preschooling for refugee children. Victorian supporters did LITTLE things multiplied with LOVE, which totalled LOTS!
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Vicki Gollasch of Australian Lutheran World Service (ALWS) regularly visits schools to talk to students about refugees.
At Australia’s smallest Lutheran school (St Peter’s, Dimboola, in western Victoria) her visit was going pretty much according to script. In order to personally experience something of the life of refugee children, the students half-filled buckets of water and walked around the block, sharing the carrying of the buckets.
‘This was all very normal’, Vicki says. ‘We always ask the children to do something practical like this when we visit schools. However …’
At the end of the day the children presented Vicki with a cheque. They had been collecting their chapel offering money for two years. They had raised $1300.
‘That was an amazing effort for a school with 28 students’, Vicki says. ‘And they were thrilled to know that they could support 50 refugee kids (to go to preschool for a year) at $26 each.’
St Peter’s principal Tim Reimann says the students have always been very generous with their donations at chapel every Friday.
‘In all my time within schools I have never witnessed such a spirit of giving from such a small school community.
‘Having Vicki from ALWS visit our school and show our students what other children have to do daily just to get fresh water, how far they have to walk to go to school or to walk to safety, really opened the eyes of our students. They saw how their “change” each week could make an immense change in the lives of many.’
St Peter’s students continue to give their donations each week knowing that they can change many more lives for the better.
On 4 July, while hundreds of Walk My Way intrepid trekkers were tackling the 26-kilometre Pioneer Women’s Trail in the Adelaide Hills, in Melbourne Anne Rasenberger was walking around her suburban block – measuring just a tad over one kilometre.
She did it not once but 13 times or ‘halfway to 26 kilometres’, as she puts it. Anne says she did the walk ‘in recognition of the long, dangerous journeys refugees must make to find safety’.
Accompanied by her faithful pooch, Maurice, Anne raised $200, enough to provide a year of preschool education for eight children in refugee camps in Kenya, Djibouti or Sudan.
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