Intermediate VCAL students were encouraged to think about prejudice, racism and discrimination today when representatives from Courage to Care brought their workshop program to BSSC.
The program challenges attitudes and behaviours and demonstrates, through real-life Holocaust stories, that every individual can make a difference.
Courage to Care facilitator, Frieda Shapiro, introduced the session with some facts that really hit home for students.
“More than six million Jews were murdered during the Holocaust,” she said. “That’s the equivalent of the entire population of Victoria being wiped out.
“We’ve delivered this program to over 100,000 students around Victoria and for many it’s been a life-changing experience… we hope it will be for you too.”
When Holocaust survivor, Judy Kolt, told her story, you could have heard a pin drop.
Judy’s family lived in the Warsaw Ghetto and she still has very vivid memories of bodies being thrown onto carts and taken away. She described the many life-altering moments and special individuals that saw her survive the war and ultimately come to Australia.
“I survived with the help of many brave and generous human beings,” she told students. “It was a series of miracles really.
“You must not be a bystander in life… show the courage to care.”
After hearing Judy’s story the students broke into small discussion groups to hear more stories of people who stood up to prejudice, and then reflect on their own life experiences and how they might shift from ‘bystander’ behaviour to ‘upstander’.