With our overwhelmingly successful Shoebox4Syria campaign having come to an end, our SRCs and student volunteers were interviewed by a camera crew from SBS World News last Friday, 23 March. Many thanks to Ms Noori, the SRC team and all those involved in this effort.
We also have coverage of the Shoebox4Syria drive in the latest AMUST (Australasian Times) edition. This newspaper is circulated to over 20,000 people.
To read the AMUST article, please click here.
Please read the SBS article by Gareth Boreham below:
"An Islamic school in Melbourne’s North – thousands of kilometres away from Syria – has become the epicentre for a gift box campaign to bring some happiness to the lives of the children orphaned or displaced in the conflict.
For the past four weeks, the careers room at Al Siraat College in the outer Melbourne suburb of Epping has been transformed into a student-driven gift box production line. And still the donations keep coming as the deadline for gathering children’s presents to send to Syria approaches. Masterminding the operation is Maths and Science teacher Noori Ahmad.
'Girls, make sure there is no food, no lollies, no chocolate, no licorice and no military toys in any of the boxes at all," she tells her students.
Boxes from Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane will be shipped out to the Middle East by the end of next month. Ms Ahmad estimates the boxes produced at the school for children of all ages have topped one thousand. "As you can see, they're still coming in," she said. "I have about 300 boxes at my own residence and I have got about 40 boxes in my car that I haven't unloaded yet."
It’s part of an Australia-wide 'Shoebox4Syria' campaign, that aims to provide gifts for refugee camps in Syria. Boxes from Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane will be shipped out to the Middle East by the end of next month and it’s hoped the gifts will be in the hands of displaced Syrian children in time for the Eid festival in June – the celebration that marks the end of Ramadan. Seven-year-old Syrian refugee Mohammed is among one million estimated children born since the conflict began. It’s hoped Syrian refugees like seven-year-old Mohammed will enjoy gifts sent from Australian students in the 'Shoebox4Syria' campaign. The aim is to produce more than twenty thousand boxes from Australia.
Al Siraat College student council Year 12 representative Bilal Adnan said he and fellow students were keen to get involved. "We felt that we could help, even if it’s in a small way, just to bring a smile to their faces," he said.
For student Osama Akkad, it’s a campaign close to his heart, having fled Syria with his family. 'It’s about helping my brothers and sisters in my country back there and letting them experience how we experience Eid here," he said. It’s a project that’s captivated pupils of all ages, who have learned of the devastating impact of the Syrian crisis.
Year 6 student Mariam Moeladawilah is one of them. "It really hurts deep down because we know we are more fortunate and yet, we always want more than we have and we know that they always have less than us."