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Students learn about international issues

Written on December 10th, 2007

Patmos College looks to make a difference in the world

Students and staff at Patmos College will be wearing a mitten on one hand all day Dec. 11 to experience the effects of leprosy through the Cured not Cursed initiative.

Though the school, which is in its first year of operation, may be small in numbers they can be effective agents of Christ in the global community, says principal Allen Bron.

“When they are wearing this mitt for 12 hours they will find out pretty quickly that there are things they may take for granted,” he says. Everyday tasks will become more difficult. The result is students will be prompted to gain understanding, appreciation and sensitivity to what others are going through.

With four million people worldwide suffering from leprosy, Cured not Cursed is the Leprosy Mission Canada’s youth initiative. Wearing a mitt for 12 hours demonstrates the lack of feeling and stigma experienced by those who suffer from the disease.

It costs $350 to bring the cure and after cure to someone who has leprosy. Bron says Patmos College hopes to raise enough money to bring the cure and after cure to a few people.

“This experience is a deliberate attempt for us to make a difference in the world,” says Bron. “Our long-term goal is to continue to be proactive in the fight against poverty, lack of education and healthcare issues.”

The school teaches students to be responsible citizens through community involvement. Locally the students visit the food bank, soup kitchen and nursing home.

“It’s a learning experience for them because they have to get outside of their comfort zone when it comes to making contact with seniors or the people who are living on the street or with those who are struggling with poverty issues,” says Bron.

The school is also involved with a worldwide collaborative initiative called the Machinto Project. Students at Patmos College are connecting, by e-mail and webcam, with other students around the world to share stories and study the long-lasting effects of war on orphaned children and communities. One aspect of the project is the collaborative project of creating a picture book to be sent to children in these regions.

Bron says the Machinto Project looks at “how we can show compassion, appreciation and sensitivity to what they are going through and how we can bring awareness to the communities around us in how they are suffering in pain throughout this world and how do we deal with that.”

Through the Machinto Project and Cured not Cursed Bron says, “Students are actively participating in supporting the needy and the weak in the world.”

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