Student helps to break the poverty cycle

COFFS Harbour student Janine Harrison has seen first-hand how a grass-roots approach to building skills within a community can make a real difference in bringing people out of poverty.

Janine, who is simultaneously studying a Bachelor of Social Science and a Master of Community Development at Southern Cross University, has recently completed field placement working in Denpasar in Bali.

She will be one of the speakers at an information session for prospective students on Wednesday at the Coffs Harbour campus.

Accompanied by her husband, Gary, and her two children, aged six and seven, Janine spent 10 weeks working with the Compassion organisation in Bali.

“I'm really interested in developing countries and would like to work with an organisation such as the Red Cross or World Vision. I'm really interested in micro-finance as a solution to poverty,” Janine said.

“The real problem in Denpasar is not so much food but the fact that parents can't afford to educate their kids.”

During her time in Bali, Janine became involved in the development of the Love Bali Foundation (Yarasan Cinta Bali), which is providing training and equipment for Balinese women to set up home industries or seek employment. “I was involved in community development research so it was really exciting. We did a survey on the sorts of skills they wanted to develop and they all came back with sewing,” Janine said.

A training program was put together to teach the women to sew and manual sewing machines have been sourced.

“One lady has gone from making $1 a day to $4 a day ($120 a month), which is quite a large jump in salary for Indonesia. Now she can sew four garments a day because she has been able to get a sewing machine in her house,” she said.

“An information session for anyone interested in finding out more about the Bachelor of Social Science is being held at Southern Cross University's Coffs Harbour campus on Wednesday, May 13, from 5.30pm in MLG13.

For more information contact Monika Sudull on 6659 3309 or email

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