Online first: St Andrew’s Google Chat for Project Compassion

St Andrews College students participating in online first Google chat
St Andrews College students participating in online first Google chat

Students from St Andrew’s College, Marayong took part in an online first recently, joining with Catholic schools across the country for a Project Compassion Google chat with Fijian ambassadors Eric and Ma Narayan.

Since the launch of the 2015 Project Compassion campaign, students have learnt about Eric and Ma’s story, and the impact of the Caritas-sponsored education programs in helping their farm to become more sustainable, farming a diverse range of produce to support their family and the local community in Fiji.

Years 11 and 12 students from the St Andrew’s College social justice team, along with other students from Catholic schools in NSW, QLD and WA were able to meet online and ask questions of Eric and Ma to further their understanding.

In their discussion, students learnt first hand about the hardships faced by Eric and Ma in their community, and the importance of the education provided by Caritas and initiatives such as Project Compassion.

Students were keen to understand the biggest challenges faced by Eric and Ma and their family over the 30 years since they first encountered the Tutu Rural Training Clinic in Fiji. Eric said that improving the farm involved a lot of hard work, planning and sacrifices. 

‘We had to be patient and teach our children to work together to achieve success,’ Eric said.

Mattison Tabone said she took a lot away from the experience.. 

‘It was inspiring and informative to hear their story and it’s great to see that our work makes a difference,’ Mattison said.

St Andrew’s Social justice coordinator Julianne Becroft said the support from students and fellow staff members is something to be admired.

‘Our students demonstrate exceptional leadership and commitment to our social projects, including promotion of topical issues, fundraising, teaching and community activities, because they have a concern for others and a desire for justice - this generates innovation, hard work and an overall drive to succeed - for their efforts to bear fruit.,’ Julianne said.