Last Thursday, about a dozen or so E-Webbers had the privilege of heading down to Triple Care Farm to volunteer for their yearly graduation day. It was about a 2 hour drive from our offices to the location (just near Jamberoo) with an awesome view from the farm overlooking Wollongong.
What is Triple Care Farm?
Triple Care Farm is a rehabilitation facility for troubled 16 to 24 year olds who have fallen into destructive drug and alcohol use. With the help of Mission Australia and their family and friends, these young people take the steps to get their lives back on track through completing the 3 month rehabilitation program run at Triple Care Farm. Removed from the social pressures of their normal lives, students at Triple Care Farm are able to regain their health and life direction through the facility’s structured activities that include life skills workshops, self-esteem coaching, and mentor-guided goal-setting. Students build their confidence and abilities through helping to run the farm, which presents challenges such as caring and feeding of animals, planting and harvesting crops, and keeping the farm equipment in good condition.
The graduation day for the last program of 2011 recognised the life-changing achievements of the 20 students who had just finished, as well as the 80 more who had successfully completed the program earlier in the year. They were joined by their family, friends, the supporting staff of Triple Care Farm, as well as members from all aspects of the community such as MPs and NGOs to create an emotional and memorable day.
E-Webbers were able to help out with the logistics of the graduation ceremony, preparing and then cleaning up after the BBQ lunch meal. During that time we got to speak to the students, families and staff about their experiences at Triple Care Farm. The ceremony itself was an emotional one, with speeches from all the different contributors including the students themselves. One of the highlights was a father of one the graduates giving a moving speech to everyone and the experience he and his family had gone through – the struggles they faced, and concluding it with a touching poem relaying his feelings towards his son.
Many of the graduates received scholarships from different donors for further education and getting their lives back on track. Our CEO Gary had the honour of donating an iPad 2 it to one of the brave graduates, and we were all thrilled that it was so well received – the young man gave him a big hug to say thank you. Concluding the day was an official opening for a new gym that had been just been built at the farm with the help of Fit for Good, another initiative for promoting a healthy lifestyle.
Overall, it was an emotionally charged and fantastic day, and one that we’re looking forward to repeating next year!