STUDENTS from across the Mid North Coast have this week been granted the privileged opportunity to meet with and hear the stories of holocaust survivors as a part of the Glasshouse Regional Gallery's latest exhibition, Courage to Care.
The education program running in conjunction with the exhibition aims to highlight the stories of survival in the midst of extreme adversity and how simple acts of kindness can make a difference. In the case of the holocaust survivors who shared their moving and poignant stories of courage and hope, human kindness was the difference between life and a certain death.
Students from Wingham High School walked their way through the exhibition, heard first-hand stories of survival and were encouraged to reflect on how they can make a difference in their own lives.
Maika Hull was moved by the harrowing detail shared by holocaust survivors including Lena Goldstein, Yvonne Halas and Susan Warhaftig.
"It was hard and harsh it's very emotional," Maika, a year 9 student, said, adding there were some important lessons for them all to take away from the exhibition.
"It is important to be able to stand up for other people. And be courageous yourself."
For Hannah Niksic, life perspective and cherishing every day were important reminders.
"So many people survived because they were lucky," Hannah said.
Emily Latimore was astonished that many of the survivors were just children when they were forced to flee the atrocities of war.
"We have to be thankful for what we have and not discriminate against other people. Every day we need to be grateful," she said.
The Courage to Care exhibition is in its 15th year. It is a racial tolerance program that tackles discrimination, racism and prejudice and aims to empower students.
Related story: Learning to care from Holocaust Survivors