Barker students make a difference to children in poverty

Barker students make a difference to children in poverty

Secondary students at Barkers College are making a global impact, inspiring hope beyond their school gates. Through a student-led initiative, they’ve sponsored six students from some of the world’s poorest countries in partnership with Compassion Australia.

As part of their annual House Fair in March, students sold food and drinks and raised over $3,500—enough to cover the sponsorship of six children for the first year.

Head of Butters House for the Senior School, Sally Filtness, said each year level from Years 7 to 12 is sponsoring a different child and is responsible for organising fundraising, letter writing and celebrating the achievements of these children.

“It’s a great initiative that I believe will increase the students’ global awareness, empathy and foster a sense of responsibility and cultural understanding,” Filtness said.

The idea came about through the leadership of House Captain Angelina Barnsdall (Year 10) who is passionate about making a meaningful difference and was inspired to engage her peers, knowing how transformative it could be for everyone involved.

“At our school we have a motto called ‘The Red Thread’ which represents the connectedness of each Barker student,” Barnsdall said.

“Just as the red thread symbolises the interconnectedness of our school community, I wanted to encourage students to remember that our actions, regardless of how big or small, are intricately linked to the wellbeing of those in need.”

Barnsdall said the College’s students “will make a difference, one act of compassion at a time”.

“Each kind gesture, each act of support, is like a stitch in the tapestry of compassion that we are collectively weaving,” she said.

She hopes that through letter writing, students will learn more about the child they’re sponsoring and foster deeper connections as they understand the challenges they face.

Head of Butters House for the Middle School, Lucas Gasparinatos, said the initiative aligns with the school’s global vision of inspiring hope.

“As a school, we are seeking to help students look beyond the Mint Gates to the wider global community and consider ways to support others who aren’t as fortunate”.

Compassion Australia’s Cooper Kruize commended the students’ initiative and said it’s a great example of how Compassion seeks to empower the next generation of leaders.

“Our partnership with schools is much deeper than fundraising. Our goal is to support schools in cultivating empathy, compassion and global awareness in students. We aim to provide students with meaningful opportunities to help alleviate child poverty, inspiring them that their actions can truly make a difference.”