Home' Capricornus Quarterly : CQ October 2017 Contents 21
Drawn to help
where there is need
‘ Hearts rule’ according to these Central Queenslanders who are changing
the world one step at a time, writes Mike Donahue
Five Central Queenslanders shared
life- changing experiences during a
Rockhampton Grammar School/Suncorp
breakfast conversation this month on the
Fitzroy River. It drew laughter and tears
from an audience of about 70 people
who heard about projects that took
panellists off to far away corners of the
world this year to help people in need.
Year 10’s Brock Valigura and Caitlyn
Goudie were among more than a
dozen students who helped a rural
family, living 160 kilometres from
Hanoi, build their first kitchen.
“It felt good to get it done. We were there
to do for others [and] it was awesome
– a trip of a lifetime,” explained Brock.
“I look at everything I have and
compare it to their home. They have
so little, yet they were so happy. I
learned so much,” added Caitlyn.
Both teens participated in this year’s
Rockhampton Grammar School Year
10 Outdoor education programme,
directed by the School’s Damien Boicos.
“The shock in contrast is what leaves an
imprint on your mind. Those experiences
just don’t go away. And when we reflect
on them, we are compelled ask ‘what
can we do next?’” said Mr Boicos.
Alison R ay shared a similar
experience 15 years ago when she
first travelled to Zambia, v isiting her
son’s WorldVision sponsored child.
“ W hen I got there I knew immediately
that this is where I had to be. We must
think about what we have and what others
don’t have and we must act,” explained
the parent of past RGS students.
Since 2002, Alison and a small team
of other Central Queenslanders have
founded and developed Our Rainbow
House, a school located within a 5 hectare
site on the outskirts of Lusaka that is
inhabited by more than 55,000 people.
“8000 of them are children. Poorest
of the poor, vulnerable and orphaned.
Their parents died from AIDS,
tuberculosis, typhoid, cholera, yellow
fever and more. We have 51 children
at our school. The need is immense.”
RGS students help, as sponsors
of Our Rainbow House, by
raising awareness and funds.
1000 kilometres to the south, Nic
Blevin’s family is conser ving wildlife
in an effort to make poachers – not
elephants or lions – extinct and to deliver
an economic benefit to local people
through sustainable eco -tourism.
“I spent so much time in the African
bush when I was a child. The beauty of
Africa is that it is wild [but] so much
of it now is under threat. I am going
to have children one day so I keep
asking myself what [can] I do to help?”,
explained Nic, a teacher at RGS, whose
family runs w w w.diwazambezi.com .
“ We invest back into those local
communities and educate students
about poaching. We recently asked 200
students how they felt about it. Two of
them thought poaching was bad [so we]
have to make tourism economically
viable for them so they can make a
living and feed their families.”
Each of the panel members said
their experiences were, and are,
emot ional and challeneging.
“But hearts rule,” offered Alison Ray.
Caitlyn Goudie agreed:
“[When we left] we were cr ying
and they were crying but it was
such a great experience.”
RGS/Suncorp breakfast conversation: Speakers share their experiences and aspirations for helping others. Photo: Rachael McDonald
Damien Boicos, Director,
“It’s about adventure,
challenge and service
and shifting from being
i-centred to having an
Nic Blevin, Teacher:
“Every major animal is
under threat near the
Zambezi River (Zimbabwe).
It is under-protected,
exploited, heavily damaged
and quickly declining.”
Alison Ray, Our
“ Working with the poorest
of the poor... just gets into
your blood. God must have
sent me to Zambia; it’s
not for the fainthearted.”
Brock Valigura, Ye ar 10:
“We moved a ton of
bricks, mixed concrete
by hand, reinforced
foundations and built a
kitchen for a family in
Mai Chau (Vietnam). I’d
do it again. 100%!”
Caitlyn Goudie, Year 10:
“ We didn’t speak their
language but we taught
kids handball and swam
with them. We made
lasting connections and
I came back from there
a better person.”
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