Tristan Bancks | Australian Children's & Teen Author | Kids' & YA Books: Students Helping Students

Monday, July 21, 2014

Students Helping Students




Josh Lorschy is a compassionate, hardworking, creative and high-achieving human. He is a 14-year-old actively engaged in changing the world in positive ways through Room to Read's Students Helping Students program. In term three, Josh is getting behind our $20,000 World Change Challenge campaign. Here, he shares some of the ways he is making a difference in the lives of people in the developing world.

Out of all the charities in all the world, why did you decide to become a supporter of Room to Read?
Josh: Room to Read really stood out to me because of their amazing work ethic. I was introduced to Room to Read through John Wood’s book Leaving Microsoft to Change the World. After reading this book, I could see that Room to Read really understands how to achieve global literacy through their various programs. I believe in what Room to Read does; everyone deserves the right to an education regardless of their gender, financial position or the country they live in.

Josh Lorschy's 'Girl Rising' Campaign
What do you most love about Room to Read’s approach?
Josh: Room to Read has a depth to their programs that goes beyond just donating books or building schools. They recognise that world change requires more than just dumping resources on the less fortunate. This extends into their teacher training programs, girls scholarships, social outreach workers and publishing books in local languages.

What makes you care about education and literacy for children in other parts of the world?
Josh: I’m privileged enough to go to a good school and think everyone should have the opportunity. I value my education, as it equips me with knowledge and opportunities. Room to Read allows and encourages everyone to take action, no matter how big or small. It’s exciting to know that I am able to do something as part of a movement that is having an impact on a global scale. I agree with Room to Read that education can and will change the world.


What kinds of things have you done to show your support for Room to Read over the years?
Josh: To show my support for Room to Read I’ve held a number of events. My family started by setting up an EverydayHero page to fundraise and hosted an information night. Following this, I spoke at my school and two primary schools regarding Room to Read and their amazing work. At these schools I organised various fundraisers including: Mothers' Day Stall, Book Swap, Read-a-thon, Handball Competition, Colouring-In Competition. In addition to this, I also held an awareness day at my school last year in lead up to International Day of the Girl (Oct 11). This involved a speech, showing a section of the Girl Rising film, then standing in the shape of a girl. This was filmed as part of an ABC documentary screened in the US.
Finally, I’ve used social media to spread the word online. I put together two animations which have accumulated over 6,500 views combined on Youtube. I also put together an attraction at our local shopping centre. We had a mobile animal farm come and people donated to get in. I also took part in a Food and Wine Festival my grandfather organised.


What actions can schools and students perform to show their support?
Josh: Room to Read makes it really easy for students and schools to participate in their programs. Anyone can take part in the Students Helping Students program, and there are plenty of useful resources and ideas to ensure your fundraiser is a success. Every action helps; every person and every dollar makes a difference. Information is power, so raising awareness is crucial. Whether you give a speech, play a video, hold a fundraiser within your class or school or for the community, it all helps.


Links to media articles and videos on Josh and his family's inspiring action:



2014 Room to Read World Change Challenge

Feeling inspired? Get active and raise a dollar or a thousand for our 2014 Room to Read World Change Challenge campaign to raise $20,000 for 20,000 books by October. Or donate now to our secure Everyday Hero page.

Next week, Room to Read writer-ambassador Belinda Murrell shares why she cares about nurturing literacy and education in some of the world's poorest countries.
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