Four graduates of St Columban’s College, Caboolture, have been planning a trip to Papua New Guinea for the week ahead, strengthening existing ties with Alotau diocese in the Milne Bay province.
“They will be dealing with extreme heat, basic food, no mobile phones or iPods and limited electricity as they will live in a remote area of Papua New Guinea,” campus minister Liz Palmer said.
“In 2007, twelve students and three staff visited PNG for the first time.
“In 2008, the college hosted 85 young people from the diocese for World Youth Day and, in 2009, another group of ten students visited the island nation.
“College captain Jacinta Donnelly and fellow Year Twelve students Sarah Camm, Jessica Grundy and Phoebe Lepper will work at the Hagita Secondary School helping Year Eleven students get the best out of the donation of computers made to the high school.
“The students will stay at the boarding school and immerse themselves into the culture and educational lifestyle whilst working hard to help.”
Asked about the alternative to Schoolies option, Jacinta said she “thought it would be better” to spend money on something that made her “feel better for a longer period of time”.
Phoebe “wants to be able to experience something new and to be able to make some sort of difference even if only in the smallest of ways”.
Jessica is heading away “to get a greater understanding” on her own life compared to the Papuan young people that she “got to know so well” during World Youth Day last year while Sarah desires to “help others” rather than herself.
“At the same time, four past St Columban’s College students – Matthew Berry, Alex Odorico, Luke Collier and Cassie McCosker will work alongside some of the local young people to build a much needed youth centre in the remote village of Upatau,” Liz said.
“The students have been meeting regularly and are very excited to be giving something back.
“(They) stand out as fine young men and women who are expecting to have a wonderful experience personally and will have the joy of feeling they have contributed something to people who have so little.”
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