Archived News Item
Mercy Connect Program Supports Passionate RefugeesFebruary 26, 2019
The Mercy Connect Program is so much more than mentoring. Each volunteer gets to know their student and understand their needs. It is through creating this connection that real, positive and lasting changes occur.
All of the Mercy Connect volunteers are incredibly passionate, determined and compassionate. These are the qualities that combine to make a significant impact and create enduring memories for the students. Josephite Sister Flo Snell is one such volunteer, where she is a mentor at St Joachim’s Catholic Primary School at Lidcombe. Every Wednesday during the school term last year, she mentored two sixth grade Sudanese students, Tito and Garang.
As a Mercy Connect volunteer, you come to understand how it feels to give and also to see how that giving turns into a positive – making a very real difference to the lives of young refugees. Garang and Tito have both worked incredibly hard through the year, focusing on their studies with the help and guidance of their mentor. As Sr Flo forged a relationship with these Sudanese boys, she discovered they had a strong interest in cars, and came up with an idea that she thought would be exciting and inspirational for Tito and Garang. So at the end of the 2018 school year, Sr Flo organised for the boys to visit Prestige Motor House in Auburn with the permission of the school principal, Carolyn Parsell.
Josephite Sister Sally Camilleri from St Joachim’s kindly volunteered her services as photographer and chauffeur for this outing, so on Wednesday 12th of December, they set out on their adventure together.
The owner of Prestige Motor House, Vittorio Giudice, greeted them when they arrived and he took them on a guided tour of the car showroom. Much to the delight of the boys, they sat in the driver’s seat of several luxury cars, including a Rolls Royce, Maserati, Lamborghini and the boys’ favourite, a Ferrari. Garang and Tito then spent a considerable time in the workshop, talking to the mechanics. They listened eagerly as to how to become qualified as a mechanic and what it takes to have a job working on these prestige vehicles everday.
It was a truly extraordinary experience for these boys who will treasure this very special occasion for many years to come. They could not thank Mr Guidice enough and at the end of the day presented him with a gift of thanks to show their deep appreciation for his generosity.
Although Tito and Garang have finished at St Joachim’s and are now at secondary school, their passion for cars has played a large part in forming an indelible link between them and their mentor, Sr Flo who is keenly watching their journey through the Australian school system.
Even though, like many young football fans, Garang and Tito dream of playing professional soccer, the hope and confidence instilled in them by Sr Flo, culminating in this experience at Prestige Motor House, has spurred them on to become mechanics – just in case they don’t end up playing football in the English Premier League!
Messages to: Mercy Works