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Sydney school raises $3000 for children in need

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.

Students Chloe (left) and Julia at Georges River Grammar’s Helping Others Afternoon.

In addition to being a fun day, Head of Primary School Nina Heinecke says the fundraiser taught students leadership and organisational skills. It also mobilised parents and families, who donated cakes and other items for the stalls.

“The children enjoyed all the activities and the stalls,” Nina says. “At the end we debriefed them that while it was a lot of fun, the real purpose was to support children who don’t have what you have.

“They are pretty good at understanding what that means.”

Nina, who has been with the Georges River Grammar for more than two decades, says fundraising to help children and families in need can teach students gratitude and the importance of giving back.

“It’s good for children to understand the need to share all that we have,” she says. “Children need to learn compassion. It’s so important. It can be a kind word to somebody, or it can be as big as supporting a community in other places.”

It’s easy to fundraise and support others when it’s fun, she says.

“I would encourage as many schools as possible to join with us in supporting ChildFund communities and ChildFund children,” Nina says.

Leanna, in Grade 6, concurs: “They should have a great as a life as we do.

“Help as much as you can so they can have a better life.”

ChildFund staff Amelie Rabreaud (in green) with Georges River Grammar Head of Primary School Nina Heinecke and Grade 6 students.

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