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Redeemer Christian High School tackles world poverty

Written on November 9th, 2007

Nepean school partners with local radio station

Redeemer Christian High School (RCHS) in Nepean partnered with a local Christian radio station to raise money for international poverty Nov. 1 and 2.

Students from the school’s senior world issues class volunteered for a telethon to raise funds for Compassion Canada, an organization with a mission to eliminate the root causes of poverty for children around the world.

Principal Leo Van Arragon says community service is very common at the high school.

“Stuff like this is going on all the time,” he says. “It’s woven into the community, it’s the way the community works.”

While the school does local community service work as well, it has been involved in a number of projects over the years to tackle world poverty.

For over 10 years the school has been sponsoring a child from Peru through World Vision, a Christian relief, development and advocacy organization dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice. The student council budgets annual funds to support the child, who was first connected with the school as a baby.

The school also participates annually in World Vision’s 30-Hour Famine. Last year students collected about $15,000 in pledges through this event. The school was one of 10 groups across Canada to raise the most 30-Hour Famine funds.

In June the school ran a fundraiser to raise money for wells in west Africa, bringing in about $2,000 within a week.

RCHS is now exploring a long-term partnership with Compassion Canada and the local radio station, CHRI 99.1 FM, to address international poverty.

Van Arragon says the partnership would provide further opportunities to tie engagement in social issues into the school’s education program.

“It’s good program development for us,” says the principal. “It’s where we’re headed as a school in terms of ministry opportunities and tying that into our education.”

Community service serves several purposes, Van Arragon adds.

“Partly it’s pedagogical,” he says. “Students learn when they put things into action.”

Related to that is the spiritual development that can take place as students are placed in situations in which they are required to think beyond themselves and their own needs.

Some community service projects involve partnering with other Christian organizations, which can be a “living witness” of the core Christian value of harmony among Christians, says Van Arragon.