From 8pm on 17th August, through to midday on 19th August, several students across the Senior School completed the World Vision Backpack Challenge. They committed to living out of a backpack for 40 hours to experience what it would be like to be a refugee or displaced child who has to leave almost everything behind when fleeing their home.  So far, the Macquarie College team has raised over $3,000 to support World Vision’s projects – enough to help two refugee camps establish safe places for early childhood education activities. Fundraising efforts will continue till the end of the month. Please click here to donate and support a team member online.

One student, Madison Walters (7B) , shares her experience from the challenge:

On Friday the 40hr Backpack Challenge started. I was excited and prepared but little did I know how hard it would be. I went outside to start and immediately realized how cold and uncomfortable it was. I lay down on the daybed (which was really thin) and tried to get to sleep.

On Saturday I went to church very tired and raised $80 and then mum dropped me off at Sienna’s house. There was already a tent set up and I unpacked a little bit and had some noodles. To do this we used a very small cooker and water from our bottles to boil to water to put in the noodle cup. Soon after Millie arrived and we got bored and hungry very quick. This made us think and realize that this was not going to be easy. We chatted and played some card games. At 3:30ish we went outside and played with Sienna’s dog, Jasper. At 6pm Sienna’s dad took us to a movie night at the church I go to, Charlestown. We watched Peter Rabbit and I enjoyed entertaining the little kids. After my mum took us back to Sienna’s house to stay the night. We ended up getting to bed at 11pm.

I was exhausted and was ready to head home and relax. But we still had a few hours left. We played some card games again and stared at our phones for 10-15 mins before we decided to be productive and played more cards. We were counting down to 12 mid day. 5….4….3….2…1…!!

Yes 40 hours done!!! This was by far very difficult and hard to do. I now had a small glimpse of what it would be like to live with limited resources. I seriously think these displaced kids have so much to cope with that I will never understand. So sad really.