ROSIES – Friends on the Street is inviting students from Catholic and other independent schools across Queensland to see life through the eyes of the poor.
The organisation partners with the schools to provide young people with opportunities to assist people who are homeless and socially excluded.
It also offers the students the chance to more deeply engage with their faith.
The Rosies Street Retreat Program offers senior students the experience of working on the street as a Rosies volunteer.
Students spend time with people who are deeply socially excluded.
Some of the people they reach out to are physically homeless, but others “simply lack the connections to the community most people take for granted”.
A spokesperson said Rosies’ core mission was something intangible – to offer times of meaningful presence, offering patrons unconditional positive regard and experiences of belonging.
Student Brian King recently attended a Rosies outreach with Iona College.
“I enjoyed the Rosies outreach as it gave me an opportunity to help the homeless first hand,” he said.
“It opened my eyes to appreciate the possessions I own, the family support I sometimes take for granted, and the security and love of my family.
“This experience helped my faith and really made me think more about the needy.”
Iona’s street retreat program co-ordinator Wayne Wilden said the outreach experience had a positive impact on the students, with many of them saying it deepened their faith and strengthened their sense of social justice.
“Many feel they gained a great deal from the homeless while others learned more about themselves as persons,” Mr Wilden said.
“At Iona College, we see Rosies Street Outreach experience as a significant part of the boys’ overall education.”
To learn more about how your school can be involved with Rosies – Friends on the Street, visit the website at www.rosies.org.au.