Putting two hands together to turn experience into action

Putting two hands together to turn experience into action

A group of promising public relations students took getting some hands-on experience one step further by ensuring others will benefit from the experience. 

By putting theory into practise, the students designed an awareness and fundraising campaign that started with a music video and ended with a festival of colour and a couple of thousands dollars raised for the 40K Foundation.

The 40K Foundation, which was established in 2005 by two university students, raises funds to support the education of underprivileged children in India. Simultaneously, through the 40K Globe program, the foundation also runs a one-month internship program for Australian university students, giving them an opportunity to travel to India to help improve the lives of those living in rural areas. 

Over the next five years, 40K aims to educate 6,000 children through 150 40K education pods and train 2,000 young Australians in building social businesses in India. 

The Public Relations program staff in the Faculty of Business acquired 40K as a partner to help the students develop their skills. 

Local musician Rick Caballo, whose career has taken him to Nashville, Tennessee, granted the Public Relations Campaigns students permission to use his song Two Hands as the soundtrack for a promotional video featuring the smiling faces of Indian kids teaching their Australian guests a thing or two themselves. 

The video is a key component of the UOW 40K campaign.

“The university already has a good relationship with 40K. UOW provides scholarships to students so they can work with the foundation during their study break,” explains Sue Slowikowski, a public relations lecturer at UOW. 

“Having UOW students raise awareness among their peers about the foundation and what they do seemed like a perfect fit.”  

Back on Campus, the students worked on a week of events designed to grab the attention of their peers, and a few dollars. From Monday 19 May to 23 May, the students hosted a series of events, including a scavenger hunt, a Mister and Miss UOW pageant and an Indian inspired Holi event, raising almost $2,000.

 “That amount of money sets up two education pods, which can then be run sustainably year after year,” Lexi Miller, Communication & Fundraising Manager at the 40K Foundation said. 

“Alternatively, that money could go toward a new digital learning program giving thousands of severely underprivileged kids access to a quality education. Some feel that the digital learning program isn’t as tangible but it’s potential is mind boggling.” 

Student Giorga Gall, said: “Getting practical experience is invaluable. On top of that we’ve been able to help provide kids in India with an education, which is amazing.”