Year 5/6 teacher Patriz Kerkenaar said the Cans for Kids project evolved out of fundraising efforts of the students who collect recyclables then clean and sort them for sale.
Initially the funds were used to support families involved in animal husbandry projects established by Patriz in Indonesia.
Last year, Cans for Kids turned its attention to Ghana to embark upon a new project, to educate students about the need to reduce, reuse and recycle waste and to help children attend school.
With the assistance of newly appointed African Ambassador of Cans for Kids, Emmanuel Amonquandoh, Patriz visited several schools and introduced the recycling program to students keen to design products out of the throwaway materials found in abundance.
Five students have been selected to receive sponsorship of their school fees, enabling them to further their studies at the Light of God Academy in Kasoa.
Patriz said school hats, books, stationery and artist supplies donated by teachers, students and community members of Our Lady of Hope School were shipped to Ghana and distributed to schools by the Save a Life Foundation.
Cans for Kids funds also covered the costs of providing musical instruments to students at an orphanage, the Potters Village, in recognition of the importance of music education.
Finally, the vision of starting a school in Ghana has taken root, with the purchase of land to commence building a multicultural, interdenominational education centre that will help see more African children attend school in a region where at present no school exists. Corporate sponsorship is being actively sought for this next step.
“All this from a Catholic faith-filled curriculum that has resulted in Christian action for positive change,” Patriz said.
“We are indeed fortunate at Our Lady of Hope School to have a strong Catholic presence within our students and community that results in a united front to help others….a wonderful series of fortunate ‘God’ moments.”