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Baptist Care SA News

Urban Learning Options a boon for our community.

Urban Learning Options a boon for our community.

Our Urban Education Options (UEO), based at our Inner City site, continue to grow in popularity. Designed to promote empathy and a holistic approach to social issues; UEO motivates young people to become involved in their communities. This financial year, 594 students have taken part in one or more of the programs onsite, while 1263 have taken part off site.

 

Among them, were a group of 30 Encounter Lutheran College students and their teachers who braved freezing winter temperatures, as they completed our ‘Rough Sleep Out’ this June.

 

“(Rough Sleep Out) is a great opportunity for kids to develop empathy and compassion,” says Craig McGlone, Baptist Care SA’s Manager of Community Development. “It’s important, as they’ll be the ones making decisions about these issues in the future.”

 

The group ate dinner onsite before taking part in an evening of interactive activities designed to raise awareness of homelessness, including hearing a firsthand testimony from someone with a lived experience.

 

“Stuart’s testimony was very heart-warming, very overwhelming – I got a little bit teary,” said year 11 student, Tahnee.

 

The young people were encouraged to consider both preventative and reactive responses to homelessness, before bedding down in the WestCare Centre courtyard for the night.

 

The following morning the group undertook an urban walk of the local area ‘in the shoes’ of someone new to the city, in need of somewhere to sleep.

 

“I was hoping the experience would give students a sense of social awareness, and a lens into life beyond Victor Harbor,” said College Head of Middle & Senior School, Penny McKenzie. “Many of our students have comparatively privileged lives, but they have good hearts. Rough Sleep Out helped them to develop an appreciation for the gravity of the situation others are in, and a sense of direction for their goodwill. It achieved beyond what I was hoping, I will absolutely be booking this trip again next year and am happy to talk to anyone else considering it!”