It is three months exactly until 75 students, teachers and helpers board the flight that will begin the ninth consecutive Leavers2Leaders trip to the Philippines. As the trip nears and the excitement grows, we will be updating this webpage and providing regular posts so that you are fully informed about:
1) The humanitarian projects that we will be undertaking in each of the locations that our students will be working in,
2) Important information that you need to know before boarding an international flight for the first time, and
3) Prayer points for the new and existing initiatives we will be undertaking for each school and the Filipino communities that we are involved with.
A quick snapshot of the last twelve months in the SCEA / Philippines relationship.
- April 2017 – New SCEA CEO Neil David visits each of the sites that Leavers2Leaders ravel to each year. He meets the church leaders and spends time understanding the needs of each community. Paul Beacham (now Principal of Southern Hills Christian College) travels with the CEO for his 50th trip to the Philippines, demonstrating the years of experience he has built up with school trips, sports ministry and construction projects in the Philippines.
- May 2017 – Staff members from Swan Trade Training Centre, Leavers2Leaders and Swan Impact trip work together to secure a sea container and a shipping route from Perth to Boracay. The sea container will take building supplies, educational resources, ICT resources, clothing donations and construction equipment that can be used across the three trips that will be made to Boracay in 2017. This is the first sea container sent to the Philippines by SCEA schools and marks the beginning of comprehensive contributions from SCEA to missions in the Philippines.
- June 2017 – The Leavers2Leaders numbers reach 75 tripgoers in total, marking the largest group of travellers to travel from SCEA schools ever. As well as this, students from Frederick Irwin Anglican School receive CEO permission to attend the trip as part of the Southern Hills contingent, Kennedy College seek advice on running Manila basketball trips, South Coast Baptist seek advice on running a Boracay mission trip and Rehoboth Christian meet with SCEA representatives to co-ordinate a meeting at the Australian Embassy in Manila on the last day of the trip.
- July 2017 – The Mindinao conflict in southern Philippines hits the world headlines when President Rodrigo Duterte declares martial law on the island of Mindinao. This slow-burning conflict is the longest running conflict in the world (http://www.gsdrc.org/publications/conflict-analysis-of-muslim-mindanao/) yet yields relatively low numbers of casualties in relation to African and other South East Asian conflicts due to its localization and a propensity for angry rhetoric from both sides. Leavers2Leaders receives up-to-date briefings from SmartTraveller and the Australian Embassy on a regular basis as well as reports from local church pastors and regional leaders. The DFAT travel warnings have not changed in the years that we have been running and there is no indication that our trip will be affected at all by these isolated incidents.
- August 2017 – Numerous fundraising activities and philanthropic giving from individuals has enabled a record number of projects to be planned for this year’s expedition. These include building a road in Sagay (Swan), renovating a classroom (Ellenbrook) and continuing to redecorate a school in Boracay (Southern Hills). Each year the mechanisms are put in place for reporting on the ongoing projects that we begin in the Philippines and students from previous trips think of new and enterprising ways of supporting their communities in the Philippines.
Finally, let us put our minds to finishing Year 12 strongly, studying hard and knowing that this trip will be an exciting finale to 2017. Stay tuned for more updates in the near future!