published in ALWS 70th & BonegillaEducation on September 30, 2020

Awareness to action

ALWS + Lutheran Schools = fired-up students! Hear from students, teachers and Lutheran Education leaders.

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“It’s about us, not me.

This is a radical idea these days but we know that Christ in his abundant love suffered for us and set all of us free to be about us, not me.

So who is ‘us’?

ALWS partners with Lutheran schools and early childhood services to help children, young people and staff learn that the people we love and serve might be far away from us geographically and culturally, or right next door.

Through learning with ALWS, students and staff encounter injustice and have the opportunity to respond with courage and compassion. Students are brought into relationship with the wider world and its needs.

As they learn together, a relationship also builds with ALWS as it becomes a familiar name and their educators become familiar faces as well.

While students won’t get to meet the 40,000 children in refugee camps that receive an education through the Grace Project, they do hear their stories from the ALWS team at Awareness Days and challenges.

These relationships help bring all of us closer together: growing, serving, shaping and enriching the world.”

Assoc Prof Lisa Schmidt
Executive Director
Lutheran Education Australia

“What I love about ALWS is the opportunity our Lutheran schools (teachers and students) have to live the gospel and develop life-changing partnerships with our neighbours near and far.

ALWS supports our students to develop a deep understanding and empathy about what real development, sustainability and empowerment look like.

Students see that no matter their age, they have the capacity to use their hands, head and hearts to impact the lives of others.

Seeing with eyes of another. Listening with ears of another. Feeling with the heart of another.

When I visited Kakuma Refugee Camp with ALWS last year, I saw that we all want the same things for our children and the future. Safety. Education. Love. Community.

I also saw how donor’s support (through money, prayers and advocacy) really is bringing love to life – especially in camp schools.

The conditions of school buildings and resources may vary from Kakuma to Australia, but the passion of teachers there and here to see their student’s dreams come to reality is universally the same.”

Jodie Hoff
Principal LORDS
Chair ALWS Board

“We have 50 students looking at the subject of poverty, and learning about your ALWS work all term.

Students’ task is to explain the work that ALWS do in either a specific place in the world, or as a response to hardships that people face (war, poverty, floods etc.).

We also plan to do our own Walk Our Way to raise awareness and funds for refugee children to go to school. Students are excited because a generous donor has sponsored us to start walking with $500 start up for you at ALWS!

I pray that God blesses the work of ALWS very much.”

Juanita Eime
Year 12 Coordinator/ Head of Christian Studies
Peace Lutheran College, Cairns

“Thank you so much for your session last week.

We have had such good feedback from the students and their parents.”

Jordan Riddle
Geelong Lutheran College

“Thanks for your incursion on Thursday with our Year 2 & 3 students. It was great to get another perspective about being God’s stewards to look after his creation.”

Leeanne Williams
St.John’s campus
Geelong Lutheran College

What I learnt …

… people still have hope even in the darkest of times

… their life is sad up until ALWS steps in and that I could donate to make a difference

… to be more grateful for what I’m given

… that others do not have easy lives, and to never take anything for granted

… refugees walk for days/weeks to get somewhere safe, and have almost nothing

… 60% of refugees are children

… many people are displaced through no fault of their own

… how privileged we really are. It makes me feel grateful for my own life and sad and worried for others

Year 9s
Tatachilla Lutheran College

Witnessing your love coming to life

‘Having worked in Lutheran Schools for 22 years I’ve seen first-hand the power of quality education to transform young people’s lives.

In our Lutheran schools here in Australia we are blessed with abundant resources, facilities and professional learning, so it was wonderful to see what our Lutheran schools are doing through ALWS at Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya.

Despite the harsh conditions, the confronting reality of families torn apart by war and famine, class sizes of over 100 and refugee teachers working on a shoestring, I saw for myself the work of our Lutheran school communities and their ongoing service and support.

The lives and hearts of thousands of young refugees are being transformed.

What a blessing we can have an impact like this by taking action through the GRACE Project and Walk My Way.’

Kelvin Grivell
Principal Encounter Lutheran College, Victor Harbor 

How can we serve you?

Curriculum resources
Provide teachers with FREE resources on poverty, justice, development, faith lived in action, across all school year levels – videos, stories, did you know facts and activities.

Students take part in 10 different challenges to get a taste of what life might be like as a refugee, so they will be inspired to ‘welcome the stranger’.

What’s my business?
Students learn how business loans help people in ALWS-supported communities. Then they receive a loan to start their own business. Profits help people through ALWS.

Walk My Way
Schools supported to set up their own micro-fundraising site, then walk to raise money from their families and communities to help refugee children go to school.

Awareness Action
90 minutes sessions with stories and activities on topics lined up with the Australian curriculum can be delivered face-to-face to all ages and year levels through the year.

Zoom sessions
For schools who can’t have a face to face visit, technology brings ALWS Community Education team into the classroom, to deliver Awareness sessions remotely.

Service Learning
ALWS can provide resources, opportunities and even staff Professional Development to help learning come to life in practical action.

Faith focus
Following in the footsteps of Jesus, there are many lessons to be learned in how we meet the poor – whole school chapel, staff and classroom devotions, Christian studies.

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