Sydney
29 June 2003

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Challenge to your neighbourhood?

communities for communities

Many worthwhile development projects in third world countries sadly go begging that do not require huge amounts of money to get up and running, says Lance Brooks, of Communities for Communities, in Canada Bay.

He would like to see other neighbourhoods in Sydney take the charity as a model for community bonding with a far-reaching purpose.

Communities, now in its second year, has already raised $70,000 for Caritas Australia and the Jesuit Refugee Service to establish eight primary schools and provide teacher training in the Ranong fishing village on the Thai-Burma border.

This has been through fun activities for Canada Bay residents such as movie nights, and sports and picnic days.

Now plans for a second community are underway, with residents of Hobart looking at trying to support a development project in Tanzania, says Lance.

It has always been the charity’s intention to encourage other groups to take up a similar challenge, but Lance believes people might be daunted by their benchmark success.

“They don’t have to raise that much,” he says. “It doesn’t take a lot to make a big impact on a community like Ranong.

“It only takes $2.50 a week, about $120 for the whole year, for one of the children to go to school. It would be great to get more people involved in our area, but we would love it if people could take on the concept with the aim of building up their own local community and forming a bridge between them and others.”

Ranong now has eight schools for 400 children aged four to 13, where they receive an education and assistance with basic health and welfare.

Canada Bay residents who are involved hope to support the project for a few years until the Ranong residents become self-sufficient in schooling their children.

For information, call 9736 1080.