Nepalese students wearing St Catherine's uniform to go to school or to keep warm
11 March 2019

Warm jumpers big hearts

On the very last day of the school year, one St Cath’s mother had a brainwave. As she folded and packed away her daughter’s old uniforms, Rachael Bailey thought of how they could be reused. Not all uniforms are suitable for the uniform shop, Rachael knew, but it seemed a shame for them to just go to waste which is literally what would happen.

It was break-up day, the beginning of the summer holidays with Christmas only two weeks’ away. Rachael knew everyone was winding down but she took a punt and decided to make a quick call to the school with a request for any old uniforms to be collected. She knew she could put them to good use in Nepal through the Mitrataa Foundation for girls, based in Kathmandu. Her contact, Rebecca Ordish, had confirmed Mitrataa would be delighted to distribute uniforms to their girls in need. Some could wear them to school, some would use them simply to keep warm. Only days later the collection tubs in both the junior school and the senior school were overflowing.

The Mitrataa Foundation’s values are based on positive psychology. Their work is based around achieving dreams and goals as tools to overcome challenges and disadvantage. They identify what is working based on strengths and passions, either on a country, village, group or individual level and build on it. This aligns closely with the way we operate at St Catherine’s in our Academic Care program and how we guide our girls to use their character strengths to build their own resilience and to flourish at school. 

The amazing response to Rachael's call for donations at a busy time of year demonstrates the school’s values in action: giving and service to others, and the sustainable re-use of quality garments for children in need. This is the essence of St Catherine’s  a school with a big heart. Rebecca has been in touch and has said they are well stocked with uniforms, for now, passing on Mitrataa's gratitude to our St Cath's family for our support. The pile in Rachael's lounge room is slowly dwindling and some children in Nepal are warmer than before.

Have a look at Parbati and Laxmi in their hoodie and pinafore combos. They love them! And Rojina who is being helped by her little brother to button her blazer. She doesn’t have a uniform at her school so now she will be wearing this one and she is so proud of it. Pushpa is wearing one of our senior school shirts. She is a Year 12 student and has recently topped all her exams and is studying humanities. Have you noted her stylish French tuck? Just gorgeous.

Mrs Marilyn Rickard
Head of Community Relations