Mandurah Catholic College’s international Immersion Program offers students a unique experiential learning opportunity through partnership with underprivileged communities. Since 2016 the College has supported Flores Village Partners, a not-for-profit Mandurah based organisation that helps disadvantaged communities on the remote island of Flores, Indonesia.
Every two years a group of students and staff travel to Flores to work collaboratively with the local partners and families whilst making a sustainable contribution to improving education and health facilities for the local communities. The whole College community is involved in raising funds to enhance the quality of life for the people of Flores. The decision-making on how the funds are spent is with Flores Village Partners who support the Flores education, health, water and sanitation programs.
The Immersion Program aims to develop students’ global civic responsibility, cultural sensitivity and spiritual formation, and empower them to be active agents of change in society. Mutual cross-cultural learning, respect for human dignity and critical reflection on global issues are significant components of the immersion program.
The Flores Immersion has four phases which aims to meet the needs of participants and communities involved:
- pre-travel formation – coursework grounded in Catholic Social Teachings and held weekly after school during the term prior to travel in-country experience phase -travel during Term Two school holidays
- post-travel debriefing – held during a reflection day upon return to school
- accompaniment phase – sustaining the partnership/relationship with Flores Village Partners.