Published on: 30 April 2015

Students and staff from Christ Church and St Hilda’s spent ten days on a pilgrimage to St Christopher’s Home in Fiji during the Term 1 school holidays. It was a journey based around voluntary service, with students experiencing and developing friendships with children from a vastly different culture.

St Christopher’s Home is run by an Anglican Order of Sisters, the Community of the Sacred Name. The Sisters dedicate their lives to caring for orphaned or neglected Fijian children.

Mornings at the Home were spent completing service-based activities including painting, cleaning, gardening and brightening up the home. Afternoons were dedicated to ‘buddy time,’ when students played with the children at St Christopher’s, extending friendship, kindness and love, followed by evenings singing and sharing laughter.

One day was spent at the local school where the morning was dedicated to teaching the Fijian children about Australia, while our students experienced life in a Fijian school.

This was a full day out of the home, which included a visit to the pool to teach water awareness, followed by lunch and the movies.

“The smiles, acceptance and friendship given by the children were humbling and heartwarming, and their singing voices – beautiful,” said Jane Shannon, Head of Geography.

“After a rewarding week, we said our goodbyes with heavy hearts and travelled to Nadi for a well deserved afternoon of island paradise, water sports and relaxation.”

The boys were greatly appreciative for the opportunity to visit St Christopher’s and thanked the Sisters and children of the Home, students and staff at St Hilda’s and Mr Hallett and Ms Shannon for the experience.

The pilgrimage was part of the School’s service program, based on the Christian call to serve others, especially those less fortunate than ourselves.