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courage to care victoria

Upstander education supports all students

"The importance of Courage to Care has always been paramount, but more so now than ever before," says Rosly Rogers.

The Degan family from left: son Zev Degan, daughter Rosly Rogers, mother Anna Degan, father Pesach Degan.
The Degan family from left: son Zev Degan, daughter Rosly Rogers, mother Anna Degan, father Pesach Degan

Volunteer speaker Rosly Rogers regularly shares her mother’s Holocaust survivor story as part of Courage to Care Victoria’s education program presented at local schools.

“The importance of Courage to Care has always been paramount, but more so now than ever before,” she said.

Rogers recently shared some feedback she received from a Jewish student with Lisa Lewis, volunteer relationships manager at Courage to Care Victoria.

The student told Rogers they felt isolated while trying to navigate anti-Jewish sentiment in a non-Jewish school and [after hearing Rogers share her mother’s story] now felt a sense of relief that Courage to Care was educating their fellow students.

“With the rise in antisemitism, it is imperative that children become educated about the importance of being an ‘upstander’ and not a ‘bystander’. This is relevant for all forms of racism and prejudice,” Rogers said.

“An unexpected positive outcome of this program is that not only are school children being educated about racism through discussions about the Holocaust, but Jewish children are feeling supported by the discussions evolving from these programs.”

Rogers said, “We can only hope that we can continue to support our Jewish students whilst educating the broader community and creating a more harmonious environment for all students.”

Through its programs, Courage to Care Victoria encourages school students across the country to be “upstanders” not “bystanders” in the face of racism and prejudice.

Using stories and testimonies from survivors of the Holocaust demonstrates the importance of standing up to oppression.

Since October 7, more than 3500 students have been directly engaged in Courage to Care’s Upstander Programs and the organisation plans to reach as many as 20,000 Victorian students in 2024.

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