Golden Secondary Students (GSS) who are travelling to Ecuador to volunteer this summer are only six months away from the big trip. The crew—often referred to as “GSS Team Ecuador”—have been fundraising since the end of last summer, hosting events like a car wash, a Christmas BBQ and a talent show.
In celebration of Valentine’s Day and in an effort to raise more funds for their trip, Team Ecuador will be hosting a spaghetti supper and silent auction at the high school. On Saturday, February 12th the school foyer will be transformed into a family-friendly and relaxed atmosphere. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children and seniors. Everyone, whether you’re a family of six or romantic couple of two, is invited to come out to the community event.
The GSS Home Economics class will bake the spaghetti sauce and desserts for the evening. Silent auction items have been generously donated by local businesses. Auction items include a gift certificate for any dress from Lori Baxendale Formals, $500 off from the purchase of a new vehicle from Kicking Horse Ford, a snowmobile rental, a cord of wood, avalanche gear, clothing, toys and more.
For tickets or to donate contact Carolyn at 250-344-5886 or Shawna at 250-344-9888. Tickets will also be sold during the week at Sobeys and Overwaitea and anytime at The Golden Star or Kicking Horse Embroidery.
Team Ecuador has raised $4,200 so far. Each of the 15 participating students needs $2,200 for the program, which doesn’t include airfare or spending money. Trip organizers have been applying for grants and will be hosting another BBQ at the Snow Block Street Party and Sale during the MasqueParade Weekend.
Although there is some political unrest in Ecuador at the moment, the group is watching the activity closely. Brenda Soujah, one of the two teachers going on the trip, explained that right now there are road-blockages and transportation is difficult, but the activity is non-violent.
On the trip, the students will stay for two weeks in Quito, the nation’s capital, and help to maintain daycare facilities, work with local co-ops in other labour projects and provide child-care.
Poverty, disability and homelessness are a reality for many youth in Quito. Volunteer projects through Global Volunteers include teaching pre-school classes, assisting caregivers with recreational activities, nurturing toddlers in a centre for disabled children or repairing facilities. In their free time, students can visit archeological museums, Andean markets, local theatres and Pacific beaches.
After volunteering the team will have a week to tour the country, making the trip not only an opportunity for students to help others on a global scale, but a chance to experience the depths of South American culture.
Soujah believes the trip will take this mentality a step further by providing a unique opportunity to show the students the reality of the world, the existence of people in need and the possibilities that exist for their own involvement in these endeavours.
“Students will be exposed to what it really means to be a global citizen,” said Soujah. “A trip like this changes the way they travel and the way they lead in their own community.”