Spurred on by overwhelming success in Haiti last year – where over 14,000 kits of school supplies were delivered to local children – The Schoolbag last night launched its expansion into East Timor.
The not-for-profit organisation was co-founded by 21-year-old Griffith University law student Chris Eigeland, who will now lead the youth-run initiative as it expands into the Asia-Pacific.
The aim is to give students living in disaster or conflict-stricken areas the opportunity to further their education by providing them with basic school supplies.
Chris says the experience in Haiti has provided great insight that will now assist the organisation to reach their goal of delivering more than 10,000 schoolbags to children in East Timor this year.
“With so much infrastructure and governance destroyed, the logistics were incredibly difficult for Haiti,” he said.
“But the incredible drive of the students to learn, and of the teachers to educate was incredibly inspiring.
“By providing simple tools, not only were the students unbelievably excited, but they are empowered to learn more and become an integral step towards sustainable development.
“This has provided a great platform for us to now expand on as we continue to grow into new regions.”
Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd also lent his support to the initiative, officially opening the launch event at South Bank last night.
The Schoolbag will also run educational workshops in Brisbane schools to foster an understanding of different education systems, promote understanding of a school student’s life in East Timor and encourage students to make the most of their opportunities.