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Term 1: Kicking Off at Home and in Nasivikoso’s New Primary School

It’s wonderful to be starting another school year. We hope you are excited as both Destination Dreaming and the village of Nasivikoso are to be kicking off 2012.

Today is a special day for the village of Nasivikoso, Destination Dreaming and the many program participants and supporters who have contributed to the construction of the village’s first primary school. Today class begins for students in grades 1 to 3. Instead of walking over 2 hours to the closest primary school and saying goodbye to their family for the entire week, the young students will walk a couple of hundred metres to their brand new village school.

Heading back to Nasivikoso in April is just one of the programs we’re looking forward to in early 2012. Also in April will see a 6-day program in Maasailand, Kenya and a visit to the Sunshine Coast as part of the AHISA Conference.

Have a wonderful week- look forward to hearing from many of you keen to get involved in a program this year.

Destination Dreaming Joins with CreatiVITI Fiji and WWF Partner Scuba Bula

Are you looking for an amazing new learning opportunity in 2012? We are excited to be partnering with two fantastic Fijian organisations in the coming year. Schools and community groups will now have the opportunity to support traditional art and craft education, or combine reef conservation with a diving experience.

In 2012, we are looking forward to linking local schools with rural Fijian schools, to deliver a series of art workshops. As art is not currently part of the Fijian curriculum, this is an extremely valuable project that will see Australian students engaging with their Fijian peers, to create art pieces reflecting their respective cultures and stories. We will be facilitating this program beside CreatiVITI Fiji, a Fijian, not-for-profit arts and craft organisation that promotes traditional Fijian art. Read more

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 Milestone! Fijian Village School Approved and Teacher Funding Secured

Destination Dreaming received some extremely exciting news in our inbox this week. Nasivikoso Village, home to our longest partnership in Fiji, is now one step closer to their own primary school.

Currently, the village’s children must walk for almost two hours to attend school at a neighbouring village, a journey which becomes dangerous and often impassable in the wet season. We are thrilled to report that after 18 months of negotiation, the Fijian Ministry of Education has this week approved the establishment of a school in Nasivikoso and funding for a teacher. Read more