Year 10 and 11 students from Drouin Secondary College are travelling to Thailand in two weeks time for a month of cultural immersion and volunteering for an orphanage in Sing Buri and an elephant and gibbon sanctuary in Mae Sot (Central Western Thailand).
There was a stringent interview process and questionnaires to complete to gain entry to the program and then the 18 students worked and fundraised hard to raise $4000 each. There were many creative ways of raising funds for example: shaving legs, Bogan Bingo and afternoon teas.
Teacher Gita Walker said the students had developed as a team and had attended many cultural information, international travel and team building days.
Last Monday was an example where the students attended Drouin Primary School to conduct physical games with the prep and grade 1 students. It was an opportunity to practise the games they will be playing with the students in Thailand, without the language barrier.
There was a lot of laughter and giggles from student leaders and primary students, but a great time was had by all.
Upon return back to secondary college, the students participated in some community service activities around the school; cleaning tables, painting walls, shovelling out drains and cutting back branches - all good practice for a few weeks time.
The college has been supportive of the program, allowing students to sit exams early and accommodating students early departure for the year.
The local community and the Drouin Community Bank have also dug deep to support all students in their endeavours. Ms Walker said it would be an opportunity of a lifetime that will change many students perspective on how they view life, especially life in developed and developing countries.
A subject has been running throughout the second semester to support cultural studies in Asia, particularly Thailand. This subject focuses on well-being and the needs of the global community.
Ms Walker said the project was a first for Drouin Secondary College and a “fabulous development for the community and global ambassadors of the future.”
Published in the Warragul & Drouin Gazette, November 11, 2014