Just One Day grows hearts and minds at Donvale Christian College

Tuesday, 7 August 2018
By Peter Jackel
Passionate junior school students at Donvale Christian College have raised over $16,000 so that other children, just like them but living in poverty, can go to school.
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Since 2012 INA has been running workshops in Australian primary schools teaching our young Australians about developing countries, global citizenship and the importance of creating a better world. The Just One Day challenge was introduced in 2016 to allow students to be the change they wish to see, giving them the opportunity to contribute in a meaningful way and raise funds so that other children, just like them but living in poverty, will have the opportunity to go to school.

Classroom teacher, Kathryn Harrison explains why Just One Day is such an asset to schools and why when students give up a little, they gain so much more.
 

Just One Day at Donvale Christian College 

By Kathryn Harrison

When I was introduced to the Just One Day program at Donvale Christian College by Renee from INA, I got excited. This was going to be an incredible opportunity for students to not only learn theoretically about kids in poor countries, but also experience it through simulation activities and then afterwards, do something practical to help.
 
Between a school visit and workshop by INA, lessons taught throughout the term (that tied in perfectly with intercultural capabilities from the Victorian curriculum!) and the challenge day, the key message ‘there is poverty in the world and we all need our help’ was driven home.
 
The students gained many new insights about poverty and global inequality.
Here are some of their thoughts:
 
I was saddened by how many children die from not having clean water – no access to clean water which makes them ill.
 
I don’t like putting water on my head, the water buckets are heavy and they walk long distances with them and that would be terrible.
 
The kids have to travel so far to get to school – walking so long!
 
They didn’t all have shoes and it would be a really tough journey to get to school.
 
That a lot of kids couldn’t afford to go to school and I didn’t like it how girls weren’t equal with boys and didn’t have the same opportunities.
 
They had to eat the same thing constantly every day. They couldn’t pick what they wanted to eat. They had nothing to bring from home.
 
The chores that the kids had to do is way more than us.
 
Some schools didn’t have electricity!
 
Some of the biggest changes I noticed in the students and their attitudes was that they realised they were so incredibly blessed and they often didn’t value their privileges. I saw a change in their appreciation for education and being able to attend school. The students became more resourceful and appreciative of water and were willing to make sacrifices to raise money, so children in poverty could have some of the basic things they took for granted, such as food, water and education.
 
I asked the students how Just One Day altered their outlook on life. Here are some of their thoughts:
 
It’s changed me by realising how blessed I am to have a house, family, food, clean water and I want to care for people that have less than us.
 
I feel bad when I get hungry and get annoyed, there are other children sitting out there in other countries, starving. I want to stop wasting what we have and share that with others.
 
We learnt a lot for the first time how kids in other countries lived and I would like to provide water taps for third world countries.
 
I learnt how many people die per day from lack of clean water. I feel sad and selfish by not doing anything and I have realised that I have wasted water.
 
I get annoyed about little things, like when the internet isn’t working whereas kids overseas are doing chores! I did chores to raise money to donate to INA.
 
There were so many benefits of running the Just One Day program in our school! The students enjoyed the school visit by INA and were able to participate and experience how children in developing countries learn, clean and play. We spent the challenge day identifying in a small measure what it is like to live in someone else’s shoes. There were makeshift balls for sports, 45 students sharing one room, walking further for water and lining up for lunch! The students were able to partake in communal eating of a simple meal.
 
The students learned real life stories through videos provided by INA of how students overseas did life. They were able to reflect and think about how they could each make a difference in someone else’s life. As a school, we were able to teach intercultural capabilities in an impacting and meaningful way. The school raised over $16,000. Just One Day reminded us to be thankful, to advocate for the disadvantaged and to think globally. I know that not only my heart was full of joy that day, but our Heavenly Father rejoiced to see us caring for his children all over the world.


Through workshop simulation activities children get a taste of what it is like to live in poverty
During the workshops students carried buckets of water on their heads similar (although much lighter) to what children have to do in developing countries.

Simple chores that children have to do in other countries before they can play seem foreign to many children in Australia
Simple chores that children in developing countries have to do daily (like sweeping) before they get to play can seem very foreign to children in Australia.

Students make plastic bag soccer balls similar to what children would play with in developing countries during a workshop.
With little money to spare for toys, children in developing countries often have to be creative with what they can find. During a workshop students make plastic bag soccer balls similar to those children make in Uganda.

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