Social Justice Excursions have Lasting Impact on St Joseph’s Students

In October, 21 St Joseph’s High School, Aberdeen, students were rewarded with a Social Justice excursion to CatholicCare Refugee Service (CCRS) to build upon their knowledge of social justice issues studied in class.

The students met with Tania Kelland and John Sandy from CCRS. Tania Kelland facilitates programs and activities to help refugees in our community, and gave the students a great account of real life struggles refugees are faced with when trying to settle in to a new life. 

John Sandy is a refugee from Sierra Leone and spoke about his life as a refugee with the main message being ‘nobody chooses to be a refugee’ and ‘be grateful for what you have’. 

Following the excursion, the students decided that more needed to be done, and on 9 December, a second trip to CCRS was organised.

The students were inspired by Tania and John and decided to make presents for the Syrian refugees who are to be resettled in the Hunter. Hundreds of presents were donated in the hope of bringing joy to the refugees which included essential items, soccer balls, new clothes and children’s toys. The work of the students is a result of the inspiration gained from John and Tania who we were very fortunate to have met.

The excursions are best described by a quote from St Joseph’s Year 8 student, Breanna Cox, “Listening to John made me realise just how lucky I am and how fortunate I am. John’s story had something special, something I have never experienced before."

This experience was so touching it brought tears to my eyes. I am so grateful for people like this to bring me back to reality”.

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