Fiji mis­sion a mas­sive suc­cess

Whitsunday Times - - COMMUNITY NEWS -

A GROUP of 16 Whit­sun­day Chris­tian Col­lege stu­dents and two staff mem­bers had the ex­pe­ri­ence of a life­time dur­ing their eight-day mis­sion trip to Fiji in June.

They spent most of their time at the Na­sivikoso Vil­lage, about a three hour bus jour­ney from Nadi.

Se­nior phase co-or­di­na­tor James van Gelderen was one of the two staff mem­bers to make the trip.

He said the vil­lagers wel­comed the group with big smiles and thanked them for com­ing to help them in the com­mu­nity.

“The need for ser­vice in th­ese re­mote parts is great. The vil­lage is set near the banks of a pic­turesque river and sur­rounded by pa­paya and ba­nana trees, lines of let­tuce and car­rots, and lo­cal crops,” he said.

“Stu­dents were al­lo­cated a host fam­ily and stayed with them in their bure (wood-and-straw hut).”

They were in­volved in a va­ri­ety of help­ful ac­tiv­i­ties in­clud­ing mix­ing ce- ment, paint­ing walls, plant­ing gar­dens and many other jobs that need to be done to build a school.

“Work­ing along­side their new vil­lage friends, the stu­dents cer­tainly be­gan to gain an un­der­stand­ing and ap­pre­ci­a­tion for life in this spe­cial vil­lage,” he said.

“The group was also in­volved in the class­rooms, read­ing books, play­ing mu­sic, lead­ing arts and crafts projects, play­ing games, and sup­port­ing the ef­forts of the teach­ers who work with very few re­sources.”

Stu­dents were able to give the vil­lage many do­na­tions and gifts on be­half of the Whit­sun­day Chris­tian Col­lege and they thanked the Whit­sun­day schools and busi­nesses that pro­vided do­na­tions for stu­dents to take.

This trip of­fered an in­depth look at how the Fi­jians live from day to day, fo­cussing on the cul­tural as­pects of the Fi­jian way of life.

Col­lege prin­ci­pal Nathan McDon­ald said the mis­sion pro­gram was a key as­pect of their sec­ondary school ex­pe­ri­ence.

“The mis­sion trip in- stils in stu­dents a de­sire to as­sist and sup­port oth­ers less for­tu­nate than them­selves, and that’s some­thing we con­tin­u­ally strive to do as a school.

“We de­sire to shape and mould young peo­ple of char­ac­ter and pro­vid­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for our sec­ondary stu­dents to serve oth­ers, both over­seas and lo­cally, is an area we aim to de­velop fur­ther each year.”

The col­lege is hold­ing a tour of it’s new fa­cil­i­ties and in­for­ma­tion ses­sion on Tues­day, July 30 from 5.30-7pm. For more in­for­ma­tion call the school on 4948 5100.

IM­POR­TANT TRIP: 16 Whit­sun­day Chris­tian Col­lege stu­dents and staff meet with lo­cals.

FRIEND­SHIP: Year 10 stu­dent Ben Berghahn with Na­sivikoso chil­dren in Fji.

SHAR­ING KNOWL­EDGE: Louisa Sum­mers­gill helps teach stu­dents.

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