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One of the most endearing and enduring qualities of the St Leonard’s College community is the sense of responsibility for those less fortunate. Our young people are encouraged through a myriad of opportunities to make valuable and meaningful contributions to society.
Recognition of the importance of kindness in today’s world is actively demonstrated and ingrained in the behaviour of our students. They understand that generosity not only manifests in financial giving, but also in the giving of time and gestures inspired by love and compassion.
A range of core College initiatives such as Lennie’s Van, our Warruwi Partnership, our educational facilities in Bangladesh and our vitally important local, national and international social action activities all contribute to The Amiel Society which disperses the funds raised through these programs, thereby supporting disadvantaged youth.
Launched in early 2018, Lennie’s Van is a St Leonard’s College initiative founded on our strong sense of community.
Senior School students and staff volunteer to assist, attending several different Bayside locations delivering our Lennie’s Van food services to disadvantaged members of our community who have been identified as ‘food vulnerable’ and who are often at a social and economic disadvantage.
Since commencement, Lennie’s Van services have overseen the delivery of weekly breakfasts to adults and children on local housing estates. Our students cook egg and bacon rolls on the BBQ whilst assisting local children in making themselves school lunches. Our bread and fresh fruit and vegetable drop service has delivered thousands of loaves of bread and much-needed fresh fruit and vegetables to our patrons. Our weekly lunches see our students preparing fresh salad rolls during summer, whilst our winter menu consists of hot soup (lovingly prepared by our cafeteria staff) and bread rolls. Afternoon tea services allow our students the opportunity to engage in conversation with our patrons whilst cooking toasties and pikelets to accompany our fresh fruit and vegetable platters. All of these services are delivered to those in need in our local community who benefit not only from the food provided but also from the social interaction due to the social isolation that many experience.
We invite you to view the below animation for further insight into this College initiative.
Our partnership with Fred Hyde Co-operation in Development (CO-ID) in Bangladesh extends over 20 years and is a testament to the deep commitment demonstrated by our College community to provide education to children who otherwise would not have access to schooling. St Leonard’s College proudly funded one of the first of the CO-ID schools. As of 2020, we now fund 3 primary schools and 1 pre-school in Bhola Island, Bangladesh.
Bhola Island is a mud island with a predominantly farming community. The island is home to over 2 million people and they are incredibly poor even by Bangladeshi standards. The basic skills that the western world takes for granted, such as learning to read and write, are only for the fortunate few. By supporting the development of the educational system in Bangladesh, a country still considered to be one of the third world’s poorest, we are helping to create a more optimistic future for these children.
Please see further information and images below.
Students from Bhola Island, Bangladesh attend the Frank Hyde (CO-ID) educational facilities funded by The Amiel Society.
This image features the inside of one of the schools funded by The Amiel Society.
The girls sit on one side and the boys sit on the other.
Retention rates to the end of the primary schooling tend to be higher for girls than boys as once boys reach 9 or 10 they are considered a farming resource and may be required to engage in manual labour.
Exercise is a valuable component of the education these children are receiving.
In the past girls in particular have not been encouraged to exercise.
The Amiel Society has been established as a Public Benevolent Institution (PBI) which has an official charity status with the main purpose of directly contributing to the relief of poverty, sickness and suffering.
This PBI charity status ensures both charity tax concessions and deductible gift recipient status from the Australian Taxation Office.
It allows the College to ensure the prudent management of the funds raised through our social action initiatives such as Lennie’s Van and our Bangladesh education program.