College – Issue 31

VALUES Lending a helping hand in Samoa

Service is one of College’s core values and the twelve Year 13 boys who spent eight days in Samoa during the holidays came to understand how life-changing the experience of helping out others really can be.

Back row: Jock Pattie, Harry Holland, Jon Ashcroft, Reid Edmond, Logan Finlay, Joe Cross, Mr. Neil Porter Front row: Mrs Debra Porter, Tom Dalzell, Hunter McKenzie, Ben Dawson, Henry Idiens, Miles Smith, Hugh Stronach

There were two parts to the project. The first was to refurbish some offices at the National Council of Early Childhood Education in Apia and the second was to upgrade the teaching rooms at the pre-school in Lalomanu, a small village on the south east coast of Samoa’s main island, Upolu, in the area hardest hit by the 2009 tsunami. Mr Neil Porter and his wife Debra, organised the tour and accompanied the boys. “After our successful visit in 2014, at the end of last year, we put out the call for boys to join this year’s visit. I challenged the boys to give up their holidays to make things better for a group of people they had never met. The visit was to be cost neutral

for parents and boys had to fundraise for their fares, all the materials we would need to complete the painting and refurbishments and for gifts for the children.’’ For Reid Edmond, Hunter McKenzie and Harry Holland, the visit was the opportunity of a lifetime. Reid says “We had a fantastic time and it was so rewarding to be able to give back to people who were so friendly, so welcoming and who appreciated what we were able to do for them. The kids loved having us there and people, many of whom lived simply and with few possessions, opened their homes and their lives to us, sharing whatever they had to give.’’

Hunter McKenzie says “It was a great way to give service. But it was not sugar-coated - we worked really hard and it hit us just how full-on it was. Burnt backs and aching shoulders were certainly the order of the day. As people, we grew and understood what true service is about – we realised what it does for us to give something to others, especially those who have fewer material things than we do. Going to the island was different from things I’ve previously experienced, as often people only see the resort side of islands and don’t experience the true culture and way of life of a country when they visit.” Harry Holland says the experience definitely took him out of his comfort zone. “I felt like we helped out the


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