Collection goes to school
THE facilities at Fiji's Naiyala High School are a bit different to those in Australian boarding schools.
The floorboards are bare, the kitchen has only a few cooking utensils, and bed sheets, pillows and mattresses are hard to find.
But students and teachers will be in for a welcome surprise when a collection of books, cooking equipment, toys, linen and much more arrives at the school in August.
The items have been collected by St Joseph's student Sophie Sims, who was doing a routine clean-out of her room when she realised her old belongings could be put to good use.
"The idea to collect items for the school came to me when I was sorting through my cupboard at home," she said.
"I realised that I, like many people in Australia, have so many things while others have nothing.
"I then realised that if we all collated our unwanted items, we could donate them to the school and help them out."
Sophie penned a letter to the families of St Joseph's and a little over a month later, the music room is brimming with items donated from the school's supporters and the wider community.
Sophie said the community response had been overwhelming.
"I would like to thank every person who has donated items. Your support means so much to me and to all the students and staff of Naiyala High School who will benefit greatly from your generosity," she said.
The delivery will be met by fellow St Joseph's students Katlin Mascadri, Linsy Armbruster and Eloise Biggin, who will be boarding at the Fijian school for two weeks as part of the Rotary Club's cultural exchange program.
Stanthorpe Rotary Club member David Lee, who has been involved with Fiji-based projects for 20 years, will accompany the students on their August trip. They will also be joined by a Rotary-sponsored work party.
Items can be donated to St Joseph's until August 5.