Kids helping poor kids

Alfred Deakin High School students Holly Schenk, Mandi Layland-Toohey and Lily Tarlington selling their soaps at Boulevard Market in CityWalk. Photo by Silas

CANBERRA students have stepped into the shoes of the less fortunate – if only for a few moments – as part of a pilot program by Save the Children’s ACT Council.

Students from Dickson College and, more recently, Alfred Deakin High School, have been raising money for Save the Children by selling hand-made items, through a business concept used in Bangladesh called Microcredit.
The Microcredit concept gives disadvantaged groups small loans – at reduced rates of interest – to start a business and ultimately overcome poverty.
Save the Children ACT Council representative and deputy chair Celia Acworth said they hoped the program would give local children the opportunity to experience and understand the challenges of the less fortunate while raising money for the organisation.
“The ACT council came up with this idea to engage with school children and provide them with an opportunity to experience and understand the challenges of the poor,” she said.
“And at the same time get some information on the different ways to alleviate poverty.
“We believe the program shows children how you can be given a small loan and turn it into something you can survive off.
“We wanted to give them the experience of how people who are struggling feel and at the same time raise some money.”
Alfred Deakin High School Year 9 student Holly Schenk is part of the leadership group Elements who are currently trialing the program.
“It’s great to be able to help children get a good education and help them to progress in life,” Holly said.
“It’s a really good experience to see what they have to go through.
“I love kids, so it’s good to help them get ahead in life.”
Holly and her group have made soaps and if they sell all their products they would have raised enough money to pay back their $250 loan from banking sponsor the NAB, plus make a profit of $375.
The Dickson College group has completed its pilot and paid back the loan of $500 and made a profit of $430.
Save the Children is a not-for-profit organisation, that helps, protects and educates children from around the world.



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