Life-changing journey for young leaders

WHILE thousands of teens were partying up the end of their schooling, these five Marian Catholic College girls were volunteering at under-privileged schools in Samoa.

The year 12 graduates recently returned from a week-long trip to the main island, where they visited two schools and started a trust fund for school resources using money raised throughout the year for "Project Sam".

Accompanied by principal Alan Le Brocque and Father Neru, the girls spent an eye-opening week seeing the sights of Leulumoega and Falefa and helping out at Paul VI College and St Peter's Primary School.

Now that they've returned, the graduates are making efforts to keep the fund-raising going next year and will begin work on a calendar that will be sold throughout the community.

They will also urge students to donate unwanted netbooks back to the school, so they can be sent across to the Samoan high school students who make do with 15 computers among students and staff.

The girls said the trip was "incredible, amazing and humbling".

For all of them, it was their first time overseas and they were all shocked by the conditions the Samoan students faced but also how happy they were without all the modern commodities.

"It has long been a dream of Father Neru's to have Marian Catholic College connect with the Somoan community," Mr Le Brocque said.

"The girls were wonderful representatives of the Griffith community and I know a lot of people will be proud of what they've achieved."

The biggest thing the girls took away from the trip was how fortunate they are in Australia and all will endeavour to lead a more simple life.

"By helping the Samoan students in their home town, we learnt so much about our own community and culture," Mr Le Brocque said.

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