October 2018 Newsletter

This is a ministry of hope and big dreams. We are unapologetically optimistic and determined to keep growing. Here are some of our stories of growth and faith and service. Enjoy reading and get involved!

- Fr David Braithwaite SJ (CEO / Director The Cardoner Project)

 


Zambia immersion

Over July a group of 16 girls and two boys attended Two Wolves Abroad Zambia immersion. Now heavily involved and passionate for the cause, all 16 are now volunteering in the Two Wolves Community Cantina.

Reflections by Georgie Henry

It is very hard to express in words just how moving my Zambian immersion experience was. At the heart of this immersion was the core intention of serving others - whether this took the form of teaching in various classrooms in Chipata, or spending time with the children at the Kasisi children’s home in Lusaka. Nonetheless, the generosity and kindness of the people I met along my travels meant that upon returning home I was walking away with more than I could have ever anticipated.

In a place where material poverty and suffering are everyday realities for most individuals, what struck me was the richness of these people’s faith. Whether it was the passion and dedication of the teachers in Chipata, or the resourcefulness of the school students - hope and happiness was seen in the ability of an individual to make the most of what they had.  Broken plastic soccer balls quickly became hats and recycled bottle tops were used as counters in math’s class.  Interacting with and learning from people who live so simply served as a reminder that God can be found in all things.

The faith of the Zambian people is expressed through the high value that they place upon their relationships. I was never made to feel like a stranger - I couldn’t even walk down the street without being greeted by at least 5 different locals, if not more.  Similarly, I will never forget when over 60 children at the Kasisi children’s home remembered my name after spending only a short amount of time with them. These simple ways of recognising others are either often forgotten or not valued to the same extent in our culture. Nonetheless, they are important ways of expressing gratitude and appreciation towards others.

No matter where we went, simple games such as the hokey pokey, conga lines and skipping songs never became boring. Experiences such as these taught me that the best gift that anyone could give another person is time. This is what I love about the Two Wolves Abroad Immersion programs - while we may not be able to change the world in three weeks, we’re not meant to. To serve others, we must simply learn to give the gift of time.


Callum Blackburn

(Xavier college, Melbourne 2017)

SRI LANKA – Vavuniya

How have you found the experience so far and what has it taught you?

My experience of the service year so far has been overwhelmingly positive. Despite my preconceived idea of this year being one filled with constant difficulties and challenges of homesickness, I am yet to face anything that has made me regret this decision at all. Of course, there have been challenges and difficulties throughout the year but in truth this had made the experience has a whole far more interesting and enjoyable. The main thing I have learnt from this year is to be open to all experiences and just enjoy myself as much as possible. Spending time with the community both inside class and outside class has been so enjoyable but it is often the times outside of class when we are free to talk and relax with each other that I enjoy myself the most. Their desire to practice their English as much as possible means there are always students staying after class or coming in on weekends to simply just talk. This is one of my favourite times and it's these little things that have made me enjoy this year so much.

What have been the biggest challenges you have undertaken?

The biggest challenge for me has been living apart from family and friends but even this has not been overwhelming due to both of us being fully integrated into our community and feeling at home with everyone who we are around.

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The Two Wolves Photo competition

Congratulations to our winners!

(From left to right) - Competition winner: Victoria Morabito (Zambia). Peoples Choice: Charlotte O'Brien (Zambia). Highly Commended: Luca Moujaes (Thailand).


Xavier Rickard

(Saint Ignatius College, Sydney 2017)

SRI LANKA – Batticaloa

How have you found the experience so far and what has it taught you?

I have been greatly appreciative of my experience so far and feel very grateful towards the Jesuits in Sri Lanka. I've definitely learnt a lot about being independent and being able to relieve the pressures of everyday life. Basically, my experience has taught me to enjoy life as it comes and to not worry too much about the future.

What have been the benefits to the local community from you being there?

I think I've been able to help enhance the English skills of my students as some of them are already quite advanced. I found teaching these students how to nail down their English so that it's perfect has been really fulfilling. On the other hand, I've also been teaching students whose English skills aren't as good, and I think I've been able to provide a solid base for these students to continue their learning. Also, I think just hanging out with locals through the church community and football club provides them with a relief from the stresses of everyday life.


2019 Parents’ and friends immersions

Lead by fr david braithwaite sj our CEO

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TERIZA MIR

(kincoppal Rose bay, sydney 2017)

SRI LANKA – EMBULDENIYA

How have you found the experience so far and what has it taught you?

I am really enjoying my experience so far. The main lesson I’m learning here is patience, on many different levels. Initially I needed patience as I found adjusting to the new lifestyle, and to being alone, quite difficult, but I knew it would get easier over time. I needed patience when I first started working with the students and alongside the teachers, as I hadn’t quite found my place among them yet but knew that the relationships would strengthen over time. And the actual nature of the work I’m doing - teaching students with disabilities - requires patience and a lot of repetition.

What have been the benefits to the local community from you being there?

From a superficial point of view, being a fresh face that isn’t used to the daily routine brings a new energy that I’ve noticed the students connect with. That’s not to say that the teachers don’t provide this energy, but I think the students enjoy having a strange white girl dance with them in their music classes. From an educational perspective, me acting as a teacher in this school gives the other teachers the opportunity for more one-on-one learning, as I tend to spend my time with one or two particular students, thus the teacher is able to leave them in my care and focus on her other students. As individual attention is in some cases a key element required for these students’ learning to be effective, I feel this is beneficial on all accounts.

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What’s the best advice you can give anyone looking to undertake a service placement?

If things aren’t immediately working when you arrive, don’t freak out. Be patient. Try and build a relationship with the people in your community and make it clear that you’re willing to help out, and everything will resolve itself over time.


Thailand Play Equipment

Volunteers Rhys Hope, Jesse Gray, Ben Sullivan, Andy Dupont, Charlie Hoffman, Marcel Scougall, Aidan Farmer and Lachlan Raper all contributed to provide play equipment for the children at the local village church. And don't the kids just love it!

You can't teach generosity like this. What may seem like a small gesture really says a lot more than words could.

Thank you to these young gentlemen for spreading a spirit of joy throughout the communities we serve.


two spaces available, for your corporate or social function
enquire at; events@thetwowolves.com.au


Luca Moujaes

(saint aloysius college, sydney 2017)

Thailand – Huay Tong

How have you found the experience so far and what has it taught you?

I have found the experience extremely rewarding and it has opened my eyes to a different set of values that are intrinsically important in a completely different culture that I have grown up in and in hand let me understand what is important to people in other parts of the world.

What has been the highlight moment for you this month?

Definitely seeing my family and friends which was really nice. It was very enjoyable showing them around Huay Tong and showing them what I do every day and the life that I'm living right now.

What have been the biggest challenges you have undertaken?

Rainy season has come in hard and that's definitely been the biggest challenge at this point due to finding things to do when we're rained in the house or driving to school and back in the pouring rain.

What have been the benefits to the local community from you being there?

It's hard to say how the people you help or just provide company for benefit from your presence, but I feel like being a positive presence within these kid's lives regardless of the teaching aspect or not creates enjoyable relationships. But obviously your presence as a teacher benefits them for future career opportunities.


Lewis McNamara

(saint aloysius college, sydney 2017)

Thailand – Xavier Learning Centre

What have been the benefits to the local community from you being there?

XLC is a growing institution. They require cooperation from the local community as well as from the government to continue to provide the education they do to the people that are most in need. Our outreach programs to the local schools - run through XLC - allow us to incorporate the facilities and knowledge into the local community and it has seen them welcome us with open arms which is amazing. Further, it is great to see that the constant English conversational and speaking practice the students receive at XLC through talking with us volunteers has resulted in the students' speaking marks being the highest of all the subjects XLC offers. I guess its special to see that there is a tangible impact to our presence there.

What have you learnt about the country and the people that you didn’t know about before?

The community of Thailand has continued to blow me away. You can meet complete strangers on the street or in the village who are more than willing to help you out in whatever way they can. There is no fear or apprehension for selfish reasons which is amazing. Their trust in each other that people will always be there if they need drives their selflessness and it is something that I could really see being a part of my life in the future.

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What’s the best advice you can give anyone looking to undertake a service placement?

Take responsibility. You become an exponentially better teacher if you are willing to work hard and take ownership of your classes. You identify issues with students quicker, you design better lessons, and you are more motivated to do all you can for your students which is more rewarding for both you and the students.


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