Students’ heartfelt welcome gesture

Students’ heartfelt welcome gesture

04 November 2021

Students’ heartfelt welcome gesture

Students from a secondary school in Perth’s southern suburbs have collected picture books with written welcome messages to donate to refugee children from Afghanistan.

Year 12 English students from Southern River College in Gosnells were moved to action after seeing photos of young refugee arrivals from Afghanistan.

Students brought in childhood picture books with Australian themes and then wrote welcome messages inside.

Southern River College students writing welcome messages inside books for children from Afghanistan.

The welcome messages were then translated in to Farsi by students at the school who are from Afghanistan.

The picture books will be donated to the Red Cross’s Afghanistan Refugee Appeal to help provide a sense of belonging for the new Australians.

Student Fatima Hosseini, who helped translate the welcome messages to Farsi, said it felt good to know a small gift such as a book could make children smile.

“I really hope the kids feel happy and excited to read and enjoy the books. I hope these books can help them on their journey of life,” Fatima said.

“I hope the kids also know there are so many people around the world who care and support them no matter what.”

Southern River College English Teacher Charlotte Donovan said projects such as these were important because they foster relationships between the diverse cultural communities in meaningful and empathetic ways.

“Furthermore, it builds a sense of community, mateship and inclusion throughout the school by showing our Afghani students and the wider community that we are there to support them through such distressing times,” she said.

The welcome messages were written in both English and Farsi.

“Most importantly, the students learnt a sense of empathy and perspective. By responding to an international crisis, students become global citizens who have a social conscience and a moral perspective.

“Not only do they have an understanding of the severity of issues like the situation in Afghanistan, they responded to it on a compassionate level.

“The students looked beyond their own worlds and recognised they were in positions of privilege from which they could make a small, yet meaningful, impact on a person’s life.”