HORSHAM’S Jessica Breuer has embarked on the trip of a lifetime – with more than 100 kilograms of luggage in tow.
The third-year Australian Catholic University student left for a four-week teaching placement in the Solomon Islands on Thursday.
With her was not only her own luggage, but 98 kilograms of donated goods she will give to her placement school and their students.
Miss Breuer was one of 20 pre-service teachers from across Australia accepted into the placement program.
She will teach 38 grade two students at Bishop Epalle Cathsololic School, in the Solomon Islands capital of Honiara.
She learned about the program through an email from her uni at the start of the year.
“I thought I would give it a crack, because it’s completely outside my comfort zone to do anything like this,” she said.
“I was accepted into the next stage, which was a Skype conference with a pre-service teacher in Canberra and another one in Brisbane.
“We had to come up with a unit we would teach based on a picture book.
“A couple of months later I received a letter saying I was accepted into the program.”
Miss Breuer said she felt incredibly fortunate to have such an opportunity.
“I’m really passionate about teaching, so this is definitely a big step towards what I’m doing, and I’ll gain so much experience,” she said.
“The students I’m teaching don’t wear shoes to school, and they don’t have internet or lighting and fans. They literally just have old tables and not enough chairs. It will be completely different.
“I’m just so lucky to have this chance and to be able to say I went over and made some sort of a difference.”
Miss Breuer will stay with other pre-service teachers near the school.
She has been collecting donations for the school over the past few months, and also hosted a trivia night at her university, which raised $2000 to go towards school supplies. She has also collected hygiene packs for the school’s female students.
“Solomon Islands girls miss over eight months of school because they are not allowed to attend when they have their period,” she said.
“When I heard about that, I knew it was definitely something I wanted to help with. I worked with Days For Girls and Rotary and they helped me with packs for the girls.”
Also in Miss Breuer’s luggage are 80 letters from Ss Michael and John’s Primary School students in Horsham.
“I’ve been volunteering there, and I asked all the grade ones and twos to write letters over to my year two class in the Solomon Islands,” Miss Breuer said.
“I’ll get my class to respond, and I’m going back to Ss Michael and John’s in December to give the students those letters.”