2015 students start fundraising for communities visited


Aug 18, 2016 - 1:54pm

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In February 2015, field studies students left South Africa after an 18-day field studies program that introduced them to complex theories and brought them face-to-face with amazing communities and individuals working towards a better South Africa.

Back in Australia, the students have started to fundraise as a means to give back to some of the organisations visited earlier this year. Based on the tradition started many years ago, each alumni group fundraises and sends money back with the next group of students. And while on the trip, students witness first hand what these funds mean to the organisations on the ground and are catalysed into action upon return to Australia.

"What the community based organsations value is that the students cared enough about them and what they do, that they made the effort to raise funds after going back home and then sent it along with the next group,” says Associate Professor Haripriya Rangan who has been running the field trip since 2002. “It is the way the funds are raised and sent across that touches them. It is continuity and connection that they value, and that’s why they have so much affection for our students."

The tradition started in 2002, when Corinne Bowman collected books and other materials for a primary school in a rural area that their group visited on the trip. She organised it so that the students on the 2003 trip brought the materials with them and delivered it to the school during their visit. Corinne started a tradition that still stands today and kindles student’s connection with the communities they met, long after they’ve left South Africa.

With photos from the trip, a former student put together a calendar and photo book for students to buy. With a small additional donation, the 2015 students have raised AUD$125 for the communities back in South Africa.

"I put together the calendar as a memento for the 2015 students, and the credit goes to them for parting with a couple extra hard earned dollars to kick start the fundraising," says Tina Thorburn, 2011 alumni who went on the 2015 trip as a Research Assistant.

Past student groups have raised funds in a variety of ways, and no doubt the 2015 students will too. To find out more about how to get involved, please email: contact@reseed.com.au

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