UNITING TWO CULTURES THROUGH A COMMON MISSION
Two Lasallian schools from two different cultures unite through a common mission – the Christian and human education of the young especially the poor.
Thirteen middle school students from De La Salle College Malvern, Australia visited La Salle Green Hills from September 23 to October 7, 2016 under the auspices of a 10-year old exchange program between the two schools. Headed by Mr David Happ and three faculty members, the all-male Lasallian students from Australia were hosted by their Lasallian foster families while their adult companions were guests at the LSGH guesthouse.
The exchange program which has been running for more than a decade continues to be a source of zealous participation of students, faculty, staff, and parents. It is an active expression of communion in mission for the High School community of La Salle Green Hills and their international Lasallian partner schools.
Every day of their two-week stay was a source of learning and excitement for the Australian Lasallians as they explored the many interesting places of Manila and neighboring provinces, such as the historical Intramuros, the art provinces of Rizal and Laguna, and the Gawad Kalinga Farm in Bulacan. In addition, the group was also exposed to encounters with other fellow Lasallians from De La Salle University in Dasmariñas, Cavite, and St. Jaime Hilario Integrated School in Bagac, Bataan. It was an experience of discovery, new friendship, and meaning for those who were visiting as well as for their hosts. Both visitors and hosts alike received unexpected gifts and warm surprises beyond what were expected of their encounters.
While interacting with fellow Lasallians, the Filipino and Australian students discovered commonalities and differences between their two cultures. However, they found profound meaning in their common Lasallian heritage and tradition despite their cultural diversity.
As the Aussie group bid their newly found friends and family in the Philippines farewell, one Australian student made this comment:
“The entire community at La Salle Green Hills made all of us feel like we were at home. The way people welcomed and treated us was absolutely amazing. Every person I have seen has said hello. It is amazing how the kids will do anything to get an education that they are so thankful for. I believe this is closely related to our Lasallian spirit.”
To our Aussie friends, thank you and Animo!