When nine-year-old Lenah Valley Primary School student Caroline first heard about the plight of refugees she felt overwhelmed.
“I heard that there were refugees in Paris, Syria and Iraq [and] all around the world,” she said.
Now after contributing to a program being run by CatholicCare Tasmania, Caroline has been able to help refugees first-hand.
Caroline, along with other students from her grade three class at Lenah Valley Primary School, recently donated six bags of their own good quality clothing for refugee children in need.
Caroline’s mother, Baidaa, herself a Syrian migrant, believes that it’s important for her daughter to have a connection to her motherland.
“I want her to do her best for Syria, where all of my family are,” she said.
“I want her to know what its problems are, that there is a war there, and the situation is very hard.
“Caroline, all the time, asks ‘What is happening there in Syria?’ - she always wants to help.”
The children presented the clothes to CatholicCare Tasmania’s Humanitarian Settlement Services in a special class ceremony.
James Norman, Manager of CatholicCare Tasmania’s Multicultural Service Programs, accepted the donation during the ceremony and was impressed with the children’s generosity.
Mr Norman also mentioned the children’s awareness of the needs of others, speaking of their unique ‘global citizenship focus.’
The focus is no coincidence for Caroline’s teacher Rachael Andrews, for whom the discussion of other world traditions and cultures has always been an important part of class learning.
“Our school is definitely one that respects and appreciates diversity. We have many families from a range of backgrounds, so it’s the kind of place where you can’t help but feel empathy and relate to the needs of others,” she said.
“As a teacher it’s the most rewarding thing to see these young people who are our future embody these wonderful traits.”
“You hope that they can hold onto those ideals and feelings and carry on with those into adulthood.”
Grade 1 and 2 students from Sorell Primary School also invited Mr Norman to their school for a presentation of gifts in support of humanitarian entrants.
The students, their teachers and families donated food items for hampers, and toys to Mr Norman, that will be given to former refugee families and humanitarian entrants who have been settled in Hobart by CatholicCare Tasmania.