Last school holidays 13 year old Apsara together with her mum Wendy volunteered to make lunch for clients at the Asylum Seekers Centre, Newtown. Read on for Apsara’s impressions, and keep an eye on our Facebook page for upcoming opportunities that Kids Giving Back is pleased to offer regularly in collaboration with the ASC.

When I first read about this program I immediately thought it would be a great opportunity to contribute with meaning, with time and not just through donations. Donating is easy, even if it’s just giving lunch money, but preparing a meal for 40 people and going to the Asylum Seekers Centre to prepare and serve the meal (and wash up) is time. Giving of time to others is probably more important than anything else, or at least is equally important, because everyone needs connections with others.

I think, especially for asylum seekers who are missing their families and friends in their home country, having an opportunity to get to know new people could give them not just sustenance with a nutritious meal, but a chance to talk, laugh and share with others who are interested. This is what happened today, except I think I might have enjoyed interacting with the lovely people I met more.  They had a beautiful sense of humour, and were so welcoming to us! I was worried that I wouldn’t serve sufficient rice or curry on their plates, but the men and women gave me the lead and made it so easy. I knew we’d be washing up after the meal, but it turned out that we didn’t have much to wash because everyone brought in their own plates and squeezed detergent to scrub them clean.

Even cooking the curries, which took about five hours, was fun. I hadn’t cooked a meal for 40 people before and even this was a new experience for me. I think it would be for most kids. I also think it’s important for anyone to realise that spending time giving, is actually even better than spending time getting. This would be a powerful way for kids to appreciate the difference they can make to someone, just by giving time.

Apsara (13 years old)

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