Every year our Year 10 girls undertake a special program as their studies draw to a close. It's called Project STC and is a key component of the service education program at St Catherine's. The girls choose from a number of different charitable or community organisations and work for five days with that organisation developing skills like problem solving, teamwork, leadership and communication. In the process they are applying their own signature strengths and reflecting key virtues of our school especially integrity and respect.
We had 13 different groups this year and below is an insight into two of them.
Sydney Dogs and Cats Home
In Week 7, six Year 10 students, Emma Doyle, April O'Neill, Charlotte Pysden, Samantha Corry, Kiera Gazzard and Erin Finnimore, headed out to Sydney Dogs and Cats Home in Carlton for their Project STC service week. Sydney Dogs and Cats Home is the only not-for-profit pound in Sydney. They are an animal shelter that covers council areas from Botany to Fairfield, and provide a loving, temporary home for animals who are lost or have been abandoned. This includes dogs, cats, rabbits, birds, goats, and more – they even once sheltered an alpaca!
Throughout these four days we washed and cuddled many cats and dogs, cleaned their kennels and set them up for the night ahead. We walked the dogs to a park twice a day to stretch their legs. At the end of the day, we were able to socialise and play with the pets to get them used to life in a loving home. We also made toys out of old blankets to give the dogs something to play with during their time at the shelter.
The highlights of our week were seeing the animals we've cared for get adopted out to loving families and seeing the community put so much love into an animal shelter so the animals get the best possible quality of life.
Earlier this week, the Love Cats campaign was launched to help newly arrived cats in quarantine at the shelter by giving them disposable cat toys to play with. We contributed to this campaign, making origami toys for the cats on our last day of Project STC.
The Sydney Dogs and Cats Home is a charity, so they rely on donations and for volunteers to come and support them and the animals. The six girls had a really rewarding experience helping at the shelter and developed a strong appreciation for the work they do.
For more information, to donate, or to see some of the beautiful animals at the shelter, please visit these links:
Ms Elyse ReadHistory Teacher | Assistant Head of Humanities | Debating and Public Speaking Coordinator
For Project STC four girls, Grace Lennon, Cleo Baldwin, Zoe Hayes and Scarlett Craig and myself travelled to North Ryde to work with the Australian aid organisation Mahboba's Promise. This organisation works to support the women and children of Afghanistan. Throughout the week, the girls assisted in planning different events and efforts for the charity to raise money and awareness. They were also able to learn from Mahboba Rawi, founder of the organisation, about the different problems within Afghanistan and what life is like for women and children living there.
The St Catherine's girls helped with the charity's annual milk drive – a program that works to provide milk for newborn babies in Afghanistan who are otherwise made to survive on black tea and sugar. They were able to contact a range of schools and local businesses asking for support. They assisted in organising the 2018 Gala Dinner – one of the organisation's most significant efforts to raise money and awareness for their cause. It is an Afghan-themed event and we helped by finding decorations, entertainment and sponsorship. Our girls will be volunteering at the dinner next year and hope to encourage members of the St Catherine's community to attend and engage in the culture of Afghanistan through music and delicious food. Details of the event can be found at the link: https://mahbobaspromise.org/2017-gala-dinner/
The Year 10s have been inspired by Mahboba's experiences and the many stories about her travels to Afghanistan. After being shown the film Love Marriage in Kabul, made by one of the workers at Mahboba's Promise, they have arranged for the film to be screened next year at school as a fundraiser. They also worked on the Christmas Appeal. Mahboba's Promise allows donors to sponsor young girls who are otherwise unable to attend school through this initiative. Lastly, they helped with the organisation's charity postcards in which drawings from the children of the Afghani orphanages are used to create postcards that pay for necessities such as school shoes and books. More information about child sponsorship can be found on the charity's website: https://mahbobaspromise.org/donate/sponsorship/
Ms Carla MaxtedHead of English
A few photos from the different organisations Year 10 have visited over Project STC.
An Anglican day and boarding school
for girls, Kindergarten to Year 12. Founded in 1856.
26 Albion Street Waverley
NSW 2024 Australia
Telephone +61 2 8305 6200