Rotary urges Belmont school leavers to consider Global Hands trip to Laos

Rotary urges Belmont school leavers to consider Global Hands trip to Laos

BELMONT’S class of 2016 school leavers are being encouraged to take part in a leavers experience with a difference by helping people in Laos, one of the poorest developing countries in South-East Asia.

The Rotary Club of Belmont’s New Generation Director Petro Recchia said it was calling for Year 12 students to volunteer, in partnership with the Global Hands Charity, to take part in an unforgettable 10-day experience in December.

“For the past two years we have taken 10-12 young people to Laos,” Ms Recchia said.

“Not only do they have to immerse themselves in the new culture, language and new cuisine but they also develop an acute awareness that less is best and that designer shoes does not matter when you are knee deep in mud or cement.”

Some of the jobs include levelling ground, mixing and pouring concrete, painting schools and helping to fix gardens.

“They also learn skills like cooking whole nutritious meals on outdoor fires and sign language to communicate with students from a deaf mute school,” Ms Recchia said.

Brooke Thompson took part in the 2014 tour, was the student leader last year and said the visits had changed her life.

“Not only did I make lifelong friends and help the people of Luang Prabang, I also found myself and my purpose in life,” she said.

“I now wish to study medicine and help charities such as the Global Hands.

“Without the members of Rotary Belmont this trip would not have happened for me and my perspective that life is a gift to help others would have never been fully formed.”

Ms Recchia said the leavers immersed themselves in the day-to-day living of the community.

“They learnt very quickly that although very poor and disadvantaged, the locals always have a warm smile and an immense sense of life, joy and humility,” she said.

“The highlight of the experience is always the Christmas party arranged for the students of the deaf mute school and disadvantaged children from the local community.”

To find out more about the program, contact Ms Recchia on 0404 033 916, email petrorecchia@primus.com.au or visit the Leavers to Laos 2016 Facebook page.