The outbreak of COVID-19 has left several local and international students out in the cold struggling to pay for food, rent, to keep in touch with loved ones and to keep healthy. These basic human needs that most of us take for granted, we can now see clearly what our fellow neighbours who have no, or limited support are enduring, in this difficult time.
The university’s Catholic Chaplain, Father Camillus Nwahia, is working together with the UoN Catholic Society student body, to help outreach to the students most in need. “We help students to seek out opportunities for social justice and healthy interpersonal relationships both within the campus and in the wider community,” Said Fr Nwahia.
Due to the circular nature of our university, we also reach out to non-Christian students and students with little or no religion.”
The UoN Catholic Society, despite the pandemic, have continued to reach out to members through phone calls, text messages, online prayer meetings and Zoom chats to ensure that everyone who has found a sense of home within the Catholic Society, has the emotional and community support they need.
The society found, that despite giving as much time and offering as much of themselves to their neighbours in friendship and in prayer, some are still struggling more than others and need financial help. “International students have said that they need more support as this pandemic affects their parents and sponsors and they are unable to return home at this time,” shared Fr Nwahia.
There are also local students who have lost their jobs and cannot return to families for support.”
Since reaching out as a student body to the wider community, the donations to help support struggling students during the pandemic, has had an overwhelming response. Donations received due to the generosity of the local community, the university cohort and of kind strangers Paying it Forward, include groceries, food vouchers, gift cards, call cards and cash donations.
As restrictions are slowly being lifted, life has not yet returned to “normal.” To ensure the student body can continue to support their fellow students throughout this unusual time, donations are still requested and are continuing to be received. If you would like to be a part of this cause, please see details below to donate.
For gift/material donations, you can drop them off at Our Lady of Victories Catholic Church
262 Sandgate Road Shortland 2307 NSW
For cash donations,
UoN Catholic Society
For more information or enquires please contact Fr Camillus on 0469 829 125 or Mary-Anne on 0409 077 373.