IT’S pretty reasonable to assume Sri Lanka, a subcontinental country, home to more than 20 million people, wouldn’t be on the must-see-places list of most teenagers.
Schoolies and year-long European trips tend to be the norm.
But a group of James Sheahan Catholic High School Year 11 students can not wait to land in Sri Lanka, with the group of 15 set to help teach, play with kids and contribute resources to a mission school in Mannar, a large town in the country’s north.
Flying out for two weeks next Thursday, Sophie Brown believes the trip will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
“It’s a really good opportunity to go around the world and see different cultures and do something you wouldn’t normally be able to do,” the 16-year-old said.
“It really opens your eyes as to what’s going on in the world. You get a real experience out of it.”
The students will spend a week in Mannar, a war-affected area run by the De La Salle brothers.
The De La Salle brothers have a strong association with James Sheahan, having founded the school alongside the Sisters of Mercy
The students will have a hands-on role within Mannar and help build a wall to prevent donkeys from eating the children’s lunches, a project the Sheahan students will contribute $5000 to in a bid to complete.
Part of James Sheahan’s social justice studies, 2013 is the first year the students have taken the trip.
“(Social justice studies) is a really strong ethic at the school,” James Sheahan innovation coordinator Lynelle Maguire said.
“It’s important to get the students to understand there are other people in the world that need their help.
“And that’s our intention when we get there, to help.”