Peru Day – Mount St Joseph Milperra

One of the best, most exciting and rewarding days in Mount St Joseph (MSJ) School is Peru Day.

So what is Peru Day?
Peru Day is held annually, towards the end of the school year, and is MSJ’s biggest fundraiser of the year. Students have a day filled with fun, games, activities, and food while raising money for a great cause. The funds raised go towards our fellow Josephite School in Peru, South America, and are primarily used for educational resources, much needed materials, community programs and more. Our connection with Peru comes from Sister Irene McCormack, who spent many years of her life in Peru, helping within the community to benefit the lives of the children and families living there. Sister Irene McCormack’s commitment to social justice is an inspiration to our school community, and her work in Peru, whilst challenging, was something truly amazing that changed the lives of the people around her. As a school community, Peru Day is our way of making a difference in the lives of those same people that Sr Irene McCormack did. The connection also comes as we strive to be women of action, led by the example of Mary MacKillop. As a result, our commitment to Mary MacKillop International (MMI) is significant to our school community, as it provides us with a way to give to our fellow Josephite school in Peru.

How does Peru Day work?
The year 10 cohort runs Peru Day annually, guided by several teachers. The students form small groups and have the challenge of not only coming up with a stall, but also organising the entire event, from contacting suppliers, establishing prices, set up and more. On the day, the community gets to enjoy the food, drinks and activity stalls, with all the money spent going towards Peru. Essentially, the whole idea is to sell as much as possible and raise as much money as we can, to help out those who do not have the same educational resources and facilities as we do.

Peru Day 2017:
This year, we celebrated Peru Day on Friday 1 December. Throughout the week we have a build up to the event, with all the stalls advertising their products. Students learn about Peru and we basically get the school excited for the amazing day to come.

We started off the day with a school Mass, where some of our prayers and readings were read by students and teachers in Spanish, the primary language spoken in Peru. At the conclusion of the mass, we were lucky enough to hear from guest speakers, Laura Blanchard from Mary MacKillop International, and Sister Jan Barnett from the Sisters of Saint Joseph. Mary MacKillop International is an “international aid and development organisation of the Sisters of Saint Joseph”.

Outside Comedor

Laura Blanchard gave us some background information on Peru and the challenges currently being faced by the community, and how our Peru Day Fundraiser would make a positive impact in the lives of the people of Peru. Laura particularly highlighted how the funds would be used to implement and continue programs for education in family violence, and for educational materials and resources. Sister Jan Barnett then gave an on the spot, inspiring speech, telling the community that this fundraiser makes a huge impact. Sister Jan spoke about how this day is just one way that we show we are ‘women of action’, and that it is a day to enjoy and have fun with friends, but also to remember the true meaning of Peru Day.

Having set the tone for the day, the stalls and the fun began! The stalls opened, and all the students got into the spirit, participating in the numerous activities, eating lots of food and even ‘buying’ some of their teachers. With over an hour to enjoy themselves, some of the highlights included the Haunted House, which raised $1,600 alone, as well as the disco, the gladiator duel and the teacher auction. It was amazing to see how enthusiastic all the girls were, and how generous people were in their contributions.

We then spend the afternoon in the hall watching several performances by the many talented students who can sing, dance, play instruments and entertain the crowd. We also had a laugh with the two MC’s, Charley and Kyla. Finally, we concluded the day with the results!

Ms Foxe, the chief teacher who organises Peru Day with the girls, was proud to announce that this year’s Peru Day was extremely successful, raising a grand total of $16, 300 – close to the current record of $17, 000! It was a fantastic day for the entire community, and we are proud to say that we have been able to make a difference in the lives of the people of Peru.

Peru Day is our way of giving to people who are not as fortunate as we are. Being able to raise such a large amount of money to support this community is extremely rewarding. It is great to know that we are able to make a difference while having a lot of fun and bringing our own community together.

We hope that our efforts make a huge impact on the lives of the people of Peru.

Bridget Weeks
Vice Captain of Mount St Joseph

Watch the MSJ Teacher Dance Video

Images and Video used with permission