“Tsunami: The Students’ Perspective.” Booklet
Some pages extracted from the 80-page booklet
When school reopened on 3 Jan 2005, the plans to reach out to the Tsunami victims were already in full flight. In addition to raising cash donations, the teachers and students in Montfort Secondary felt that the need to do more. For a school that value “Compassion” and “Discernment” in our mission and vision statements, it is in keeping with our character that we respond differently.
It was unanimously felt by teachers that students should be given an opportunity to pen down their responses to the tsunami disaster as this would give our students an opportunity to express themselves. As Principal was constantly speaking with them about the disaster and the implications and follow up but the students too had many things to say about the disaster, they too had feelings and emotions to share. This idea blossomed into a publication of a book, “Tsunami: The Students’ Perspective.” By providing an avenue for all our students to express themselves, it not only brings about closure for the students but more importantly, the invaluable lessons one can learn from a disaster of such magnitude.
The team of teachers led by the key personnel of the school quickly conceptualized the format and liaised with publishers, sponsors, teachers and students to get it off the ground. The teachers and students were being carried by the wave of compassion that followed the tsunami.
The book thematically arranged according to the stages of grief: Denial and Anger, Bargaining and Depression, Acceptance and Encouragement should be out by the end of January. It comprises articles, poems, reflections and drawings to give the students an opportunity to express themselves in the genre that they are most comfortable with. These pieces are also written in English, Chinese, Malay or Tamil to emphasize our sense of unity in this moment of grief. Anyone reading this book will at once gain an insight into how our young feel and respond to such calamities. More importantly we will be encouraged that they are growing up to be fine young people. If there is some encouragement that one can take from this disaster, it is that we are raising a generation of young people that we can be confident will continue do us proud. They can respond in the right way and will continue to do so.
The book was launched by Mr. Charles Chong, Member of Parliament for Pasir-Ris Punggol GRC during the school’s Chinese New Year Celebrations. 5000 copies of the book will be on sale at $6 per copy as a fund-raising project and all proceeds will go to the victims through Tsunami Relief Fund. In all, the school hopes to raise about $30,000. This effort will always provide us with the memory of our grief and the unity of spirit that our young Montfortians share with their fellow human beings.
Refer to MA News Flash for details of ordering the booklet.
Fund Raising (Chairman)
MA Ex-co 2004/05
Montfort Secondary School