Posts

How We Won the Official Title of ‘Cool Company’

November has been one exciting month. Last Thursday night we rose above a field of over 700 nominations to be recognised as one of three finalists in the Social Capitalist Award. The Cool Company Awards are Anthill Magazine’s vehicle for celebrating Australian organisations that are doing things differently to bring about positive change.

The magazine describes ‘Social Capitalists’ as those companies, which successfully apply commercial principles to social issues and achieve lasting, sustainable success. Finalists need to have demonstrated the ability to address a targeted social need in an organised, innovative and entrepreneurial way.

Anthill Magazine said that Destination Dreaming, ‘differs from many ethical-travel initiatives because, rather than providing a one-off, cookie-cutter experiences, it works to develop ongoing relationships between the communities and Australian school and other groups.’ And that’s pretty cool. Read more

Laying the Foundation for Nasivikoso Primary School, Fiji

This Monday the 11th of November was a very special day for Destination Dreaming and Nasivikoso, the Fijian village we have been working with since 2004. We were honoured to be a part of the foundation laying ceremony for the Nasivikoso Primary School. We joined with the village to bless the school site and pour the first load of concrete. An amazing moment, that wouldn’t have been possible without the wonderful support of our past participants and supporters in Australia. Vinaka vaka levu. Read more

Scotch Oakburn College

During the September school holidays, nine students and two teachers from Scotch Oakburn College in Launceston ventured into the highlands of Timor-Leste on their inaugural International Community Partnership Program. The group stayed with the Encouragement House in Maliana and delivered an English tutoring program for one of the local high schools. Staying at the Encouragement House, a boarding house for rural students, was a highlight.

Kelsey said ‘my favourite part of the trip was spending time at the Encouragement House… and the river trips in the truck.’ Andrew described his experience as ‘…the most fulfilling and enjoyable ten days of my life…it is very rare that you can reflect on a week of your life knowing you wouldn’t change a moment of it.’

The program was a huge success, and thanks go to the incredible people at the Encouragement House, Robert Dickson, Maliana One High School, Tania Deguara and Andrew French and the nine champion students of Scotch Oakburn College.

Brianna Bartley has created a video of the group’s experience, which is being used to generate awareness and support in the Launceston community about the program in preparation for the College’s next visit in September 2012.

Photos from the program are now available via this link on Facebook.

[box_half]Chris and kids from the Encouragement House playing soccer[/box_half][box_half class=”last”]Scotch Oakburns Tania with Maliana Ones Principal[/box_half]

Tassie Students Learn From Community Life in Timor Leste

During the September school holidays, nine students and two teachers from Scotch Oakburn College in Launceston ventured into the highlands of Timor-Leste on their inaugural Community Partnership Program. The group stayed with the Encouragement House in Maliana and delivered an English tutoring program for one of the local high schools. Staying at the Encouragement House, a boarding house for rural students, was a highlight. Kelsey said ‘my favourite part of the trip was spending time at the Encouragement House… and the river trips in the truck.’ Andrew described his experience as ‘…the most fulfilling and enjoyable ten days of my life…it is very rare that you can reflect on a week of your life knowing you wouldn’t change a moment of it.’

The program was a huge success, and thanks go to the incredible people at the Encouragement House, Robert Dickson, Maliana One High School, Tania Deguara and Andrew French and the nine champion students of Scotch Oakburn College.

Four Days of Action and Adventure for Queensland Youth

Destination Dreaming facilitated a second Life in Action Program for Community Solutions this Winter holidays. Teenagers from the Sunshine Coast spent four days engaging in sport and recreation and life skills activities in beautiful Currimundi.

Funded by the Queensland Government, the program was designed to provide young people access to a health and wellbeing program. Program Co-ordinator, Clint Miller, said ‘it was fantastic to run a program for young people in my own backyard. It was wonderful to see these kids have access to this form of program and to be able to share their experiences.’

UN Youth Australia Delegates Get a Taste for the United Nations in Action

United Nations Youth Australia delegates recently returned from an amazing trip to Timor Leste, brushing shoulders with President Ramos Horta and Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd, and supporting the Encouragement House in Maliana.

13 travellers had the trip of a lifetime last month, the first of a series of visits planned to the Encouragement House, to provide financial support to the rural boarding house. Destination Dreaming donated a percentage of the group’s program cost to construct an outdoor shelter at the Encouragement House, which was constructed by local builders during the visit. Read more

United Nations Youth Australia 2011

United Nations Youth Australia delegates recently returned from an amazing trip to Timor Leste, brushing shoulders with President Ramos Horta and Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd, and supporting the Encouragement House in Maliana.

13 travellers had the trip of a lifetime last month, the first of a series of visits planned to the Encouragement House, to provide financial support to the rural boarding house. Destination Dreaming donated a percentage of the group’s program cost to construct an outdoor shelter at the Encouragement House, which was built by local builders during the visit to Maliana.

Highlights for the group included evening soccer matches with the local students, bathing in the river and group singing sessions at the Encouragement House. Asher Kosma (17 years old) said, ‘my trip to Timor Leste was absolutely amazing. We were the first Australian students ever to visit one of the rural school and lived like locals for 6 days… This Destination Dreaming trip changed the way I view the world and I would be genuinely surprised if it didn’t for anyone who undertakes it.’

Grant Duthie (17 years old) commented that ‘our ability to make a difference on this trip made it stand apart from other travel experiences. Making a positive impact and discovering culture that is so fulfilled and content with so little…

Photos from the program are available via this link on Facebook.

Destination Dreaming will run the next Pacific Project for UN Youth Australia delegates in July 2012. Next year’s program will be extended to three weeks. Interested students should contact the Pacific Project Director at UN Youth Australia.

[box_half]Boys fooling about at the river in Timor Leste[/box_half][box_half class=”last”][/box_half]

Dreaming Project Success! Funding Secured for Clean Drinking Water System in Fiji

After 14 months of lobbying for funding and assistance, Destination Dreaming has been advised that the Rotary Pacific Water Foundation has approved our proposal for funding for a water project in Fiji. The grant is to provide access to clean drinking water for the remote village of Nasivikoso in the highlands of Vitu Levu, Fiji. The grant includes all piping, fittings, water tanks, professional tradesperson, as well as construction and maintenance training of the system for local villagers. The grant will also provide material to thoroughly clean and secure the water source (natural spring) for the village and protect against waterborne diseases. The work is expected to be finished on the 24th of June 2011 and will be officially commissioned the following week. Read more

Samoan Adventure, Culture and Rugby for 23 Melbourne High Students

Talofa Lava,

Over 11 nights and 12 days during the school holidays, 23 Melbourne High School students, two teachers/Rugby Managers, one very brave parent, an inspirational Rugby/Life Coach and a very lucky Destination Dreaming Expedition Leader travelled to Samoa. The school group travelled on a 12-day Destination Dreaming Sports/Service tour to experience a combination of adventure, culture, education and sport. Read more

Melbourne High School Rugby 2011

Melbourne High School rugby hit Samoa in April, on a Destination Dreaming Cross-Cultural rugby program.

The team played matches against three local high schools, followed by informal periods allowing the boys from the two cultures to interact. The program saw Melbourne High School develop a relationship with Afega Primary School, which has subsequently led to the donation of a set of computers and installation for the school.

The feedback from the boys was amazing- having gone over focusing on the rugby, they soon recognised that the real beauty of the program was in the relatioships they would build and through an amazing experience of the Samoan culture.

Neelson and Stefan talk below about their time in Samoa: