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MSA students to learn a powerful lesson about homelessness

Students from Mount Saint Agnes Academy are to sleep in Victoria Park for a night with nothing except the clothes they are wearing.

The youngsters will spend from 7pm to 7am in Victoria Park and are not allowed blankets, pillows, food, drink, cellphones, iPods or laptops. They want to experience first-hand what it is like to be homeless and how to cope with being exposed to the elements without any of life’s luxuries.

The ‘Sleep in the Park’ on Friday, December 2 aims to highlight the growing problem of homelessness in Bermuda.

The fundraiser also plans to raise awareness of the Salvation Army’s Soup Run programme, which will stop at Victoria Park that night to feed the students.

They will be offered soup, sandwiches and water and have the opportunity to eat their meal immediately or save it for later when the hunger really kicks in. Kyla Sinclair, president of the MSA student council, said: “As a volunteer at the Salvation Army Soup Run, I encounter many homeless people on the streets of Bermuda.

“I am very excited about this event. I hope others too will recognise how evident homelessness is on our Island after this.”

MSA principal Sue Moench added: “I’m really proud of our students for coming up with this idea and being willing to take themselves out of their comfort zone, even if only for one night.

“Once they have completed this event, they will journal their experiences; however, my hope is what they learn from their night in the park will stay with them and instil in them an even deeper sense of giving back to their community.”

The City of Hamilton has allowed the students to use Victoria Park and a security officer from Security Associates will be on hand to ensure they remain safe.

Major Shawn Critch, the divisional commander of The Salvation Amy in Bermuda, said: “The Salvation Army is very pleased to partner with Mount Saint Agnes on this exciting initiative. It is important that every generation be aware of the realities within our community while championing the values of compassion, respect and dignity.”

Anyone who is interested in sponsoring the students or making a donation should contact Lisa Stevens, director of development at MSA, on 292-4134 ext 1906 or via e-mail: lstevens[AT]msa.bm.

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Published November 26, 2011 at 1:00 am (Updated November 26, 2011 at 6:51 am)

MSA students to learn a powerful lesson about homelessness

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