St Therese’s Support 2012
In 2010, the children in Grades 5 and 6 at St Therese’s Primary School, New Lambton, Australia held an art exhibition to raise money fro the Lotus Educational Fund in Laos. The fund was established in 2008 to raise funds to support 44 ethnic girls from the Laotian group in the province of Savannkhet attend school.
The children in Australia requested that Lotus purchase bicycles so that the girls did not have to walk the 6 kms to school. This week, the children held their second successful art exhibition and raised an amazing $5625. The students were supported by a dynamic group of teachers who have all worked collaboratively to ensure that this is a successful learning experience for the children.
This year, there were market stalls as well as artwork created by each child in Stage 3. The children painted beautiful lotus flowers on small canvasses. The lotus is the national flower of Laos and in Buddhism the lotus is known to be associated with purity, spiritual awakening and faithfulness. The flower is considered pure as it is able to emerge from murky waters in the morning and be perfectly clean. And so we see the Lotus girls emerging from a disadvantaged situation to one where opportunities are available for them to improve there life chances.
The Lotus symbol was also used to make hand painted stationary paper and envelopes. A special creative feature on the night was the giant lotus flowers on sticks with greeting cards all about the girls. One creative teacher made beautiful felt Lotus broaches. Other popular items included Lotus fridge magnets and Lotus stickers. For the first time a silent auction was organised see the photos below as Yr6 painted some large boards, which were then auctioned off on the night. Several of these sold for $50 each and others for $60.
As well there was a special raffle of Lao products including traditional silk scarfs. This was not a simple fundraising event as the children, teachers and parents from St Therese’s have been working in partnership with the Lotus group since we first started back in 2008. it has always been important to Lotus that the children take ownership of their efforts that are highly valued and remembered by the Lotus girls in Laos.
The children completed their wonderful efforts through a written response, which was displayed with their artwork. I hope that you enjoy reading this text which is an abridged version written by Cath Crawford (a Grade 6 teacher) and viewing the photos as the pictures will be printed off and taken to Laos in October where they will adore the walls of the Lotus classrooms.
2014 Big Brother Mouse bike ride bikes bilingual books collaboration donate donation education ethnic minority girls fundraising girl’s education girls Helen Keogh international education international women’s day Laos Life in Laos Literacy local community Lotus girls partnership poverty reading registration school secondary education St Therese’s Primary school support teacher text books uniforms Workshop