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Notre Dame Students Inspired To Support Community

The Year 9 Notre Dame College students recently held a fundraiser and donated the proceeds, $1,241.30, to help Shepparton Foodshare continue to provide food relief to local people in need. Please read the story below of how the fundraiser and this incredible donation came about ...

"The Year 9 Notre Dame College Leaders went to a Seeds of Justice leadership camp back in August September this year. There they were able to hear an asylum seeker story of an Afghan refugee called Abdul. He told them about the hardships that he, and the rest of the Afghan community faced whilst seeking a better life in Australia. The Ballarat Afghan Action Group BAAG have got behind Abdul and been trying to raise money and awareness for many kinds of struggles of people in Afghanistan.

One issue that really caught the Year 9 students’ attention was the fact that he was hiring teachers to run schools for girls. By hiring people, he was supporting the local community and funding families, but he was also giving education to young girls who wouldn’t have it otherwise and would lead to them being taken advantage of.

In the already built schools, he was fundraising to build toilet blocks, because a lot of schools over there don’t have them. He was also bringing food, water and clean clothes to poorer families because the living conditions were so bad.

A fact that surprised the students was that $100 Australian dollars would last a family of 10 about 6 months in Afghanistan, so every little bit counts.  Hearing this, they were moved, and decided to create a fundraising campaign in order to initially raise money for the Ballarat Afghanistan Action Group (BAAG).

After consulting with teachers and leaders at Emmaus, they commenced a competition called the Mercy Cup. In the competition, each of the 6 Houses played short 25-minute soccer matches, held during Friday lunchtimes throughout term 4. The matches are refereed by teachers and training staff.

While the matches are running, the Leadership Team worked with teachers and held organised barbecues, selling sausages in bread, as well as lollipops, chocolates and zooper doopers. They also set up a guess-the-number-of-lollies-in-the-jar competition, where contestants pay for a turn at guessing the number of lollies in the jar.

All proceeds from the food selling and lolly jars would be donated to their cause.

On the day of the Grand Final, they had an extended lunchtime, and a full-length match on the oval. Due to some legalities and after consultation with the teachers and the Director at Emmaus, it was decided to donate the funds locally. The concept was although inspired by Abdul’s story was endorsed by BAAG to put those funds into a local organisation that helps people. They decided that Shepparton Foodshare was where the funds would do a great deal with people who nees food and support, especially after the devasting floods of 2022. They invited Shepparton Foodshare Chair, Jeremy Rensford to the College on Grand Final Day where he spoke at length with the students and what it will mean to be able to use that money towards those in need, as well as the principles of giving and donating. " - Anthony Brophy, Notre Dame College

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