CHAPPY CHAT August 2022

Drop your unwanted jewellery into the Learning Community to help SET4LIFE Australia support the Yiben community in Sierra Leone

Drop your unwanted jewellery into the Learning Community to help SET4LIFE Australia support the Yiben community in Sierra Leone

Learning Community

We are over halfway through the year and it continues to be a privilege to support homeschooling families in our community through the provision of activities that complement their education.

You may be aware that teachers and chaplains who were not vaccinated are now able to return to schools, however my personal decision is to continue to support these families who made the courageous decision to remove their children from mainstream education and take on the role as educators which is not always an easy task.

Participants in the Rainbow Beach Learning Community are looking forward to a term full of fun and educational activities. This term due to work commitments, local teacher Kerry Sleath is running the program on Tuesdays and I will continue to run it on Thursdays.

A highlight of the program since the start of the year has been art classes provided by local artist Mo Riggs who has enjoyed watching the young people blossom creatively through their artwork.

New activities this term will include a morning fitness program, STEAM projects, Minute To Win It games, bike rides, and tennis. We are looking forward to visits from local cake-maker extraordinaire Jennie Tritton who will be helping us make Father’s Day biscuits, Gympie Regional Councillor Jess Milne, and Elisa Seul who will be sharing about her country of origin and helping us cook some amazing Italian food.

Throw in some fishing, a visit to Cooloola Berries, and maybe a trip to Double Island lighthouse and Term 3 is shaping up to be a wonderful time for everyone involved!

We are hoping to create a greater awareness in our young people of how blessed they are to live in this beautiful part of the world with access to plentiful food, water, and education.

One way of doing this is providing them with the opportunity to learn about and support young people in third world countries. The Learning Community is looking to help SET4LIFE Australia, a registered local charity that provides financial support for the Yiben community in Sierra Leone, which is one of the poorest countries in the world.

In 2009, Gympie girl Amy Coates decided to volunteer her nursing and midwifery skills to help the people of Sierra Leone and spent time in Yiben (pronounced ‘Ee-ben’), a very remote northern village, connecting with a local leader called Mallam.

Amy’s response to the needs of the village, and the ongoing support of Gympie friends and family, has resulted in the establishment of SET4LIFE Australia. Up until recently, Amy was working for the World Health Organisation in Geneva as a public health strategist but is now back in Australia for a well-earned break.

The SET4LIFE Australia Gympie team are currently supporting the Yiben community by selling pre-loved jewellery at local markets.

Do you have any jewellery that you no longer wear which is just sitting in a drawer somewhere? We would love it if you could drop it in to the Learning Community group that meets on Tuesday and Thursday mornings at the Rainbow Beach Community Centre.

This term we are hoping to have a member of the SET4LIFE Australia Gympie team come along and share about the current projects they are fundraising for. If you would like to find out more about the charity or donate to their work, check out their web page at:

Community Pantry

It has been very rewarding to be able to help people in our community with Foodbank hampers over the last few months.

Since teaming up with Foodbank in mid-April, we have been able to distribute over 400 hampers to people in Rainbow Beach, Cooloola Cove, and Tin Can Bay. Woolworths Cooloola also donates food items that are close to their best before date which are given out with the hampers.

We are very grateful to McClintock’s Transport who deliver the food from Foodbank in Brisbane to their Gympie depot where Rainbow Beach Transport picks it up and brings it down to Rainbow Beach on Thursday mornings – both companies do this free of charge so that we can keep the hamper cost to a low $10.

As food prices, rent and electricity costs rise, many families are struggling to put enough food on the table and it is wonderful to see local people helping out their neighbours by buying them a hamper worth $40-$50 every couple of weeks.

Another local lady has made a regular financial donation since the Community Pantry started at the Church of the Good Shepherd in mid-December and this is why she loves to help in this way:

I grew up at times with very little. My mum did her very best but I know it was challenging for her. I am lucky that my husband and I can provide for our family (and yes, it has been challenging at times) but if our donation gives a mum and dad the dignity and less stress to provide a meal for their family, that makes me smile. Some people need a helping hand and a hug and it is nothing to feel ashamed about. We are a community and we should embrace each other.”

Another way that you can help get fresh food to families in need is by supporting Foodbank Queensland’s Farm to Families Program. A monthly gift will ensure healthy and nutritious food gets to communities that need it most while supporting local farmers and reducing food waste. Check out Foodbank’s website for further information:

Ronnie Timperon

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