Aquinas Colleage students travelled to the Philippines to give service at Anawim, a charity helping the poor, elderly, and disabled.
John Richards and 9 Aquinas students ventured to the Philippines during the recent school holidays. This was the first visit back since 2015, because the school has been unsure about their safety after the election of a new Philippines President.  
The students headed to the island of Negros Occidental and spent 8 days there. The boys stayed with local families and worked with the deaf children at the Anawim Foundation.  They then spent another 6 days working with children in the slums of Manila, which was much more confronting for them.
The Aquinas students learned to sign and it helped them communicate with the deaf students. The deaf students were not orphans, but came from families in outer areas too far away to travel daily.  The Anawim students were preparing for transition from the school to job training and this is something Applecross Rotary is likely to support. There are already two Anawim students studying to be Architects, two others training as Accountants, and another two as Pastry Cooks.  All of them are the first people in their families to train for a career.

Year 11 students - Sterling, Zac, and Tom told us they found the experience quite confronting. The service work made them appreciate how fortunate they were. They were amazed at how happy the Filipino students were -- considering their circumstances.  All three boys said they were hoping to return to the Philippines on another program.

Speaking of which, John Richards is planning another trip in January with a Restorative Justice theme, and is very happy to have Applecross Rotary members join in. Members can find John's contact info in ClubRunner or in the previous event announcement at
Philippines Justice Immersion