02 Jun Fundraisers support Syrian cause

The level two sociology class has been working hard over the last few weeks to raise money to support the Syrian refugee crisis. 

Funds raised will go to World Vision, who is focusing on the crisis for a second year now.  The organisation deems it to be the largest humanitarian disaster since World War II.

The class goal is to raise at least $2500 dollars. This would enable the construction of a purpose built and furnished education area within one of the main refugee camps. The facility would cater for toddlers through to senior students. It would supply educational needs, as well as providing fun activities such as face painting and ball games.

One social action the class has organised is a regular Coffee and Cake Day, an initiative that has already raised more than $400. International students Erik Flock from Norway and Leonie Schuessler from Germany both helped out with running the stall. Erik described the cause as a “noble” one, pointing out that the media don’t focus as much on people living in poverty as on the wars that can cause it.

Leonie has a personal understanding of the issue, as her neighbours in Frankfurt, Germany are refugees from the Middle East. She says that the two families are getting on well with each other and have shared a meal and exchanged gifts of food and flowers.

For those still in refugee camps though, life is tough. That is why the class has also organised other fundraising events such as Compassion Day on June 14th. This has been generously sponsored by local business Dutch Rusk and will feature the sale of love heart themed confectionery. A lottery and a raffle are also being run in a bid to raise all the funds needed.

Teacher Lara Bruce-Millar said the connection with World Vision was mutually beneficial, as representatives from the organisation had come and spoken to the class about the background to the Syrian conflict. Students’ understanding has grown from this. “A lot of them knew there was a crisis but it was so complicated they didn’t know why,” she explained.

These student-led initiatives prove that it’s possible to contribute in a positive way, even when living so far removed from the actual disaster. According to student Tiahna Kingi, taking part has been “a real life learning experience and [it] is about giving back to society.”

Those wanting to experience the kinds of decisions refugees are forced to make, can visit the following site to take part in an interactive video story:


By Sera King