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Project Search: Working Together

We are the COINS Project Search Supported Internship program and have been working with COINS Global and COINS Foundation.

We are learning about the world of work, getting experience about how COINS operates around the world. We are learning about communication, respecting others, enthusiasm for work, trust, kindness, politeness, integrity, developing self-confidence, positive attitude and responsibility.

We have learnt the value of a hand up instead of handout, social responsibility, loyalty and teamwork.

“PEAS helps to build schools for children to learn in Uganda and Zambia. It is a good cause for me to learn about the PEAS organisation and the community being able to get involved in it.”

Both boys and girls need education so that they can learn things and have the opportunity to get a job. If girls are relied on to do chores around the house, they are unlikely to go into school and education or if there isn’t enough money for fees. It is unfair if girls do not get an education or have to get married early.

PEAS help children get educated, making sure they get good education and going on living their best lives and surviving with proper food and water. Some children struggle to go to school because their parents can’t afford the school fees and they are very far from home. PEAS build new schools that the parents can afford and are nearer to home or the schools also have a boarding facility for those who come from very far. Some are currently using solar panels for electricity. It is very important for them to have electricity so they can see where they will be going at night because if they are at boarding school they stay overnight. During the Covid pandemic they used the old Nokia phones and radios to learn as they could not go to school.

“I think PEAS is a really good organisation helping people in Africa who don't have enough money and to get an education and get a job. PEAS is keeping up the good work by giving back to people who are in need of secondary education and to have a safe environment.”

Widad is a special needs school in Dubai. It helps students to learn new skills.

“I like WIDAD a lot because I had an experience in my old school which was called Arbour Vale and I have seen lots of support given to other children as well as I supported them too.”

We asked the students what their interests and hobbies were, and they said they enjoyed; basketball, football, sleeping, playing games, eating, arts, crafts, social studies, middle-ages in history, reading books about Christopher Columbus, maths, gaming, acting, basketball, paper models and video games. Some said they would like to get a job at the end of their learning, one person said they want to have a job as a chef.

“Widad Education helps children to get jobs, for example in restaurants.”

The students are dropped off and picked up by their family and come to school from 8am to 2.30pm. Widad timing is very different from COINS internship because we finish at 3 o'clock and Widad finishes earlier. They have sandstorms and they don't have any rain for a year and we told them that we have rain, thunderstorms and hailstones.

“I like the ways Widad staff help students to learn.”

We learned that Widad has 50 students and they have lots of fun at their school. The staff there like their job and are really happy to help out the children and are grateful too. We like that the children have lots of energy and confidence and they just love to talk and say the things that they want to say, which we found amazing. I am so glad that I got to see Widad thanks to COINS and Project Search.

“I have learned more about listening and communication from the Widad students.”

Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit housing organisation working to empower people in the world’s poorest communities to overcome the chronic lack of quality housing in the world.

Habitat for Humanity’s motto is “a hand-up, not a handout” and they build strength, stability and self-reliance through shelter.

“In my eyes, Habitat’s vision is to help them build comfortable and affordable housing for the people living there because then it would be easier and more convenient for them to maintain their living arrangements.”

BIGhART was founded in NW Tasmania in 1992 by Scott Rankin in Burnie and uses art to highlight hidden injustice and bring it to the mainstream. BIGhART uses; films, theatres, documentaries, events, music, podcasts, apps, digital media, augmented and virtual reality to tell stories of the powerless to inspire others to take action and advise people on how to express their stories in their own way.

They have worked with over 50 Communities in regional remote and urban places in Australia, which are diverse in their own ways. For BIGhART to work as well as they do, it’s important they are able to connect with the people and to build their trust.

They work with the communities experiencing high levels of inequality and intergeneration injustice faced by indigenous Australians. Rather than focusing on the problem, their unique projects build on community assets, strengthening vulnerable individuals, and creating long term attitudinal shifts.

Other ways of how BIGhART helps other people is by musical theatre performances where they also use the money raised from these to help other projects. It is also good to say that BIGhART has the NEOMAD Neo Learning project based with young people and another project in the Roebourne community.

“I learned how to study art and design at Arbour Vale school. Also, I loved studying Art at Haybrook College. It made me feel so passionate about creating and drawing portraits of cultures.”

BIGhART looks at what's strong rather than what's wrong to make cultural, social and economic change. Scott Rankin was a theatre director in Australia and is recognised by the World Health Organisation for safe communities. Scott has provided new ideas for community cultural development practise in disadvantaged communities. Since 1992, 8,000 people have gone through the organisation and generated performances and art which have ongoing benefits.

The organisation has raised over $50 million which has gone to disadvantaged communities. The early years in Tasmania set the tone for later work in Roebourne where digital and performance projects help children connect with their culture. Creating art to help disadvantaged communities is at the heart of BIGhART.


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