Student council president Alec Chambers shows some of the collection cups that Vincent Massey high school students are using raise funds for refugee camps in South Sudan and a school in Ecuador. (COLIN CORNEAU/BRANDON SUN)
Thirty Vincent Massey High School students will spend 30 hours outside without food and minimal water this month in an effort to raise funds for a school in Ecuador and refugee camps in South Sudan.
Students in Vincent Massey’s global issues class are partnering with members of the school’s student council to organize and take part in a mock internally displaced persons camp — otherwise referred to as a refugee camp — to help raise funds and awareness for the Sudanese camps and to help build a school in Ecuador.
Among those participating is student council president Alec Chambers. The Grade 12 student said on May 29 at noon, students will set up camp on the school grounds to help simulate the conditions of an IDP camp.
"We’re only doing this for 30 hours ... it’s just a little taste of what it’s like and will help open up my eyes and everyone in the classes eyes to that and just keep us motivated to affect change in the world," Chambers said.
So far, the group of the students has raised $500, but their goal is $15,000.
Funds raised will be donated to the Mennonite Central Committee Manitoba and Free The Children. Donations can be made in person at Vincent Massey or by calling the school directly at 204-729-3170.
Britain’s Guardian newspaper reported Monday that there are currently close to four million people in South Sudan in dire need of food and humanitarian assistance.
This is the second year global issues has been offered as an elective at Vincent Massey, according to teacher Kevin Doerksen, who says the class centres around social and political issues going on around the world.
Doerksen said this initiative is part of the student’s final class project geared toward "affecting positive change in the world in some way" and they’ve all decided to work on it together.
"I’m hoping that (students) will gain an awareness of the conditions that some people have to go through," Doerksen said. "I’m hoping that students realize that they can actually make a difference."
Although Chambers admits their $15,000 goal is an ambitious one, he’s hopeful the group of students can reach it.
"It’s just to help motivate us," he said. "I think if we set a goal and work hard then we’ll be able to reach it."
» Twitter: @LindseyEnns
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition May 13, 2014