Year 7 showed themselves to be considerate, compassionate, interested and thoughtful young women during their participation in their first Mercy Week outreach activity day on Friday. I was particularly impressed by their thoughtful reflections during the workshops; as well as listening during the talks, they listened to each other and built upon the responses of others. The heart warming message that I heard back throughout the day was the students developing understanding that small gestures of kindness can have a big impact on someone else.
Please read below a few of the written reflections I have received from Year 7. If you and your daughter have not yet had a chance to create a fundraising page, I hope some of their reflections will encourage you to do so.
As I write this, Year 7 Mercy Girls are holding 9 of the top 14 fundraising spots and I’m so proud of their efforts!
The Mercy College fundraising page is at https://www.socktober.org.au/MercyCollegeChatswood where you can create for your daughter an EveryDay Hero page. The students have until Friday 18th October to collect as many donations as possible and each Colour House has challenged themselves with high targets ranging between $960 and $3300. You can follow their progress on the same webpage.
Year 7 Co-ordinator
Year 7 Outreach Day – Reflections
Ghana. What is it? Where is it? Ghana is a country in Africa that is a third the size of Australia but with a much bigger population. Children in Ghana suffer from not enough money for food, water or education as well as forced child labour with no pay and little food.
This year in Mercy Week Year 7 learned what our fundraising will do to help the children in Ghana. We were shown our mission and how even the little acts of love and kindness can impact a person.
The four volunteers from Catholic Mission told us about a woman in Ghana who saw what was happening and chose to do something about it. In Ghana, those with a disability are thought to be a curse and many parents can’t look after their children. This woman is Sister Stan. She believes that all of the children deserve to have food, water and a home, so she became a nun and went out to help the children.
A decade ago Sister Stan started with a 1 room house and 4 babies. Now she has almost a hundred children and all of them get cared for and loved.
Isabelle V D, Year 7
Something that stood out to me on Friday, was the story of Michael. Out of all the stories that was told, I think that Michael’s had the biggest effect on me. Friday also taught me about the power of stories, how we found ourselves lost in the stories itself, and how surprised we would were when the bell rang and broke the trance the stories left us in.
Chloe C, Year 7
In Northern Ghana, if a child is born with a disability, they are believed to be a curse or a bad omen because of old superstitions. These children’s lives are often threatened or ended since they are accused of local disasters. Luckily, Sister Stan has created an organisation called The Nazareth Home for God’s Children that raises, feeds, educates and provides necessary life skills for children persecuted in Ghana. To date, Sister Stan’s organisation is looking after 100 children.
Mercy College is working in partnership with Catholic Mission, which supports The Nazareth Home for God’s Children. Year 7 was involved in four workshops including creating friendship bracelets for the children, teaching us about what happens in Ghana, how students at Mercy can help and the purpose of Catholic Mission.
Each of year 7 is creating a web page for donations towards The Nazareth Home for God’s Children, these web pages will be open until the twenty-third of October. This day is called Socktober because some rural villages in Ghana can not afford to buy a proper ball, instead, they use socks, old clothes, plastic bags and wool to create one. On Outreach Day, we learnt about the lives of the children in Ghana, the kindness of people like Sister Stan and the purpose of Catholic Mission and it serves as a reminder of how lucky we are and the power of making a positive impact on other people’s lives.
Victoria F,, Year 7
I really enjoyed our day at School on Friday. It was the last day of Mercy week and the Year 7’s took part in Socktober which is to raise money for children in need. We take part in this activity by making soccer balls out of used plastic bags and old clothes. I was really moved when I heard about Michael, a little boy who had HIV. He was from a terribly broken home because his mother committed suicide and his dad disgracefully abandoned him after using Micheal’s illness to raise money from his friends. Michael was taken into care by Father Bill when he was at a very young age and was really sick. What really impressed me about Michael was the way in which he always had a positive attitude despite his circumstances and background. Everybody remembered Michael as the boy who would always smile to his carers and laugh together with his friends and other children. It just goes to show that no matter how bad things seem we should always try to make the most of it and be happy.
This story inspired me to help children like Michael through fundraising and it also made me more aware of people who are less fortunate than myself.
Isabella M, Year 7
Outreach Day- Ghana
The Republic of Ghana, a small country that discards any children born with a disability or a twin. As unbelievable as it might sound, the people of Ghana believe that these children are a sign of bad luck and blame any problems or any disasters that strike their villages on them. Usually these children are abused or sometimes killed because of their superstitions. Of course, not all people believe that the children are cursed. That’s why the Nazareth Home for God’s children was founded by Sister Stan. Sister Stan rescues and protects these children from any harm, whilst feeding them and giving them a proper education.
During the Mercy outreach day, Year 7 was lucky enough to be involved in a total of four workshops that had been prepared by Catholic mission in collaboration with our school. The purpose of these workshops were to teach us of Ghana in general, of the organisation Sister Stan founded and about Catholic Mission’s goal. Along with the newfound knowledge, we were tasked with making friendship bracelets and sending either prayers or messages to the children in the orphanage.
Our main project though was to each create our own webpages that people can donate to. These donations go towards the kids living in the Nazareth Home for God’s Children, it takes care of their food, clothes and any other necessities. Catholic Mission has reminded us that we are very fortunate to be living where we are now (the third most liveable country in the world), fortunate to have a roof above our heads and fortunate to go to our school that gives us the gift of education because some places like Ghana are less fortunate. We also realised that even the smallest donation can have the biggest impact on these people’s lives.
Sahara T, Year 7
Our first outreach day was both interesting and informative. We were able to learn about how over the last decade Sister Stan has dedicated her life to helping children in Ghana who have a disability, sickness or have been abandoned by their parents. To help Year 7 are helping raising money for the children in Ghana and have been making bracelets and notes for them. This amazing experience we had helped to us to understand more about Catholic Mission and about the people in Ghana.
Anna R, Year 7