Money raised for bushfire victims (Issue 6, 2009)

Muslim students at
the International

Muslim students at the International College with Mr Fouad Dirgham, their First Language Coordinator

The Muslim student community at La Trobe's International College has joined together to help the victims of the Victorian bushfire.

The International College's 150 Muslim students recently offered their support to the victims of the Black Saturday tragedy. They gathered as usual at the Friday prayer and discussed raising money for the Victorian Red Cross Appeal. Their efforts managed to raise more than $3000, while many of them also donated blood for the victims in need.

'I wanted to help the victims in any way I could, so this initiative came at the right time' said Bandar Al-Ghamdi from Saudi Arabia.

The students are planning to further extend their help by offering their time as volunteers during the next university holidays.

'We thought this would really help the people that lost their homes', added Mohammad Basyony, also from Saudi Arabia.

Many of the Muslim students at the International College are undertaking the English for Further Studies course to gain confidence with their language skills before moving on to their university degree.

'It's amazing, I spent one year studying English and I feel that my skills have really improved and I am ready to take on the challenges of the master degree at La Trobe University' adds Talal Al-Beshri from Saudi Arabia.

The International College offers several pathway programs, such as Foundation Studies and Diploma Programs as well as English language courses to prepare students for their university study.

La Trobe University organised a bushfire appeal offering accommodation at its regional campuses for people that lost their homes, while also facilitating financial contributions by staff and encouraging the university community to donate blood and offer volunteer support.