Extraordinary experiences – new appreciations
St Paul’s offers students life-changing experiences through service tours to Rwanda and East Timor.
Students learn about the different cultures and tumultuous histories of these countries, whilst offering and receiving both friendship and respect.
They meet, interact with and teach local children, offering knowledge of their own country and culture and learning just as much in return. They also gain an understanding of the daily life in these communities and develop a genuine appreciation for their abiding sense of community.
The service tours give our students an opportunity to reflect on their own lives, and those of others. They develop a new perspective on life itself which will carry them into adulthood with an enhanced appreciation of our world, its cultures and people.
Rwanda – an extraordinary experience
The Rwanda service tour is available every year to St Paul’s Year 12 students in place of ‘schoolies’. It aims to give a cross-cultural experience by allowing the students to become a part of the community.
The 18 day trip gives the students the opportunity to help within the community of Gahini where they teach Maths and English at the local school and play sports such as football (soccer) and cricket with the local children.
The students also paint blackboards for the school, visit the local hospital and kinder and join in with choir practice and dancing with the ‘Rays of Hope Choir’.
They travel to Kayonza where they visit the markets including the Women’s Opportunity Centre with different working stations of basket making, cheese making, peanut butter making and beading.
They visit the Genocide Memorial Museum in Kigali to learn about the areas painful past and also have an African safari experience at the Akagera National Park to see a range of African animals.
The feedback from past students is that the trip to Rwanda is an extraordinary experience!
East Timor – developing new appreciation
The service tour to East Timor takes place in the Ermera district.
The students spend time visiting community English Language centres and schools, helping in classrooms and playing sports such as soccer, frisbee and AFL football with local children.
The highlight of the tour is the visit to the Pre-Secondary School in Ponilala which was built with donations from St Paul’s.
Students and staff meet with a group of students from Ponilala who are now studying at universities in Dili with sponsorship from St Paul’s.
To support the region, students shop for goods from local villages and markets. The students then bring these goods home to sell at a fair trade stall in order to raise further funds. Timor coffee beans are sourced and sold throughout the year to the St Paul’s School community, with profits from sales returning to the country and the educational projects supported by the School.