Students from Our Lady Help of Christians School recently visited Mercy Place Woree, to participate in a workshop where nursing home residents along with Bhutanese elders shared the “ingredients” that make up a good life.
This workshop is the culmination of a chicken keeping project called ‘Hen Friends,’ which Centacare has been running over the past few months to help improve the health and wellbeing of elderly Bhutanese residents, who have a tendency to become socially isolated after migrating to Australia as refugees.
The ‘Recipe for Life’ sharing day will be an opportunity for young people to see the value in the elders of the Cairns community, and gently encourage them to build positive relationships with them.
“This workshop is a wonderful opportunity for young people to appreciate the value and wisdom of our older people,” says Centacare Executive Director Anita Veivers. “Sharing one’s story brings a great sense of validation to older people, and I’m sure the students will also walk away with nuggets of wisdom. It will be also interesting for them to compare the life experiences of the elders from Bhutan and the residents of Mercy Place Woree. Regardless of our age and cultural differences, this is a wonderful opportunity to promote values of respect, community and empathy.”
“It was very special to see the students ask so many questions about what food the elders ate and what sort of houses they lived in,” adds Charlene Reyes, Service Manager at Mercy Place Woree.
“The Elders were equally inquisitive, asking the youngsters about their hobbies and technology and I know our residents are looking forward to the next time they can spend time with both the Bhutanese elders and students from Our Lady Help of Christians School.”
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