Stories

We’re a lucky country.

That’s the consensus of the students at Georges River Grammar in south-west Sydney.

“People in Australia have so much but we forget how little other people have,” sixth-grader Lourdes says.

“I think we should give more to charity because people in other countries aren’t as lucky as we are,” Oscar, also in Grade 6, adds.

We’re sitting under a giant fig tree in the school playground, and it’s clear the Grade 6 students we’re speaking to are wonderfully bright and compassionate. They’re also savvy and know a thing or two about the struggles their peers growing up in developing communities face.

For almost two decades staff at Georges River Grammar have taught their students about the importance of helping others.

The school, which has more than 470 students between kindergarten and Grade 6, has been sponsoring children through ChildFund since 2001 and hold regular fundraising activities each year to support disadvantaged children and communities.

Their most recent event – Helping Others Afternoon – raised $3000 for ChildFund’s Laos Nutrition Appeal and children affected by the Philippines typhoon, which killed dozens of people in September and forced more than 236,000 families to abandon their homes.

The money were raised over an afternoon in October when classes from Grade 2 to Grade 6 ran stalls and activities for students, including face painting and games, and sold cakes and second-hand books and toys.

With pre-emptive measures in place, 436 families were evacuated from ChildFund-supported communities in Luna and Flora in preparation for Typhoon Mangkhut.

These families were relocated to evacuation centres where ChildFund and partner organisations are providing food packs and other essentials.

ChildFund Philippines’ country office closely monitored the development of the typhoon as it approached landfall, and worked closely with local partner organisations to prepare for its arrival.

A team from ChildFund Philippines is travelling to the area to assess the needs of children and families affected by the storm.

If needed, ChildFund will deploy emergency response teams to provide food, clean water and child-centred spaces for children.

Typhoon Mangkhut has caused significant damage and destruction on the Philippines’ largest island Luzon. Wind speeds were reportedly up to 285 kilometres an hour.

The typhoon was called the world’s strongest storm this year, and has already displaced more than 58,000 families across the Philippines.

We will update you when we know more about the impact on children, families and communities in the Philippines.