Eastwood Uniting Church offers a home away from home to international students
Eastwood Uniting Church recently extended its arms to embrace young international students into their Game Club. These students have embarked on their educational journey, far from their home enrolled in high school from year 10 to year 11.
At Eastwood Uniting Church, Game Club is a weekly gathering that ushers in a sense of camaraderie and joy every Sunday. It is a program to connect the wider community to play games with people from different cultures and different generations joining in. The enchanting world of board games, video games, and even the timeless allure of Mahjong unite people separated by language through the universal language of fun.
The church members recognised that these young scholars have ventured to a foreign land, miles away from their families, to seek education and opportunity. In this shared understanding, they sought to bridge the gap with a simple, yet profound gesture – a hot pot welcome dinner in order to extend their care and friendship.
Jermaine Yan, a compassionate member of the church, voiced their collective sentiment, stating, “As we know these students come to study in Australia alone, we are trying to make them feel warm while they are away from their parents. Some of us used to be overseas students, we definitely know that feel and need.”
The hot pot dinner, a cherished tradition in the students’ home country of Hong Kong, resonates with a sense of familiarity that transcends borders.
While residing with local host families, these young scholars may miss out on this cultural tradition, but the Eastwood Uniting Church took it upon themselves to ensure that these students feel cherished, and indeed, at home.
“Hot pot dinner is very common, especially during winter in their home country, Hong Kong. However, they may have no chance to enjoy it if they stay with a local host family. We organise this event to make them feel like they are at ‘home’. Eastwood Uniting Church can be their home during their stay in Australia,” Jermaine Yan further explained.
Beyond the warm and nourishing meals, what truly shines through is the Eastwood Uniting Church’s vision for a multicultural ministry.