Rewarding experience for outreach worker

Kristy with other pilgrims on the steps they helped build in the town of Pamplona.

Kristy with other pilgrims on the steps they helped build in the town of Pamplona.

St John of God Murdoch Hospital Social Outreach Worker Kristy Mippy had the experience of a lifetime joining thousands of other young people at this year’s World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro and Peru.

An outreach worker for Murdoch Community Mental Health based at Cockburn Youth Centre and  Ottey Family and Neighbourhood Centre, Kristy helps those in need in our local communities with support and advocacy, but World Youth Day presented her with an opportunity to help those in need abroad.

“Primarily, World Youth Day is about young people from all over the world coming together to deepen their faith, but there is also a component that involves mission work, which really interested me,” said Kristy.

Having never been outside Australia, Kristy said her trip was rewarding, but challenging at times and an eye opener to poverty in Peru.

“The town of Pamplona has power, but no running water. It really made me realise how lucky we are to have the wide range of services and support that we do.”

Kristy and 40 other pilgrims helped build a staircase to enable the residents of Pamplona to be recognised as a community and give them access to government assistance.

“It is critical for a community to have its own staircase in order to be eligible for help with basic amenities,” said Kristy. “It was a really amazing experience working alongside the locals to build it.”

Kristy also spent seven days in Rio where she joined in activities with other pilgrims and listened to the Pope speak about faith and contemporary issues.

“It was inspiring to hear him speak on issues that are relevant to young people around the world,” said Kristy. “At the Coca cabana, he closed World Youth Day by announcing the next Youth Day is to be held in Poland in 2016.”

“I am very thankful to St John of God Health Care for supporting me on this journey,” said Kristy. “I really am a changed person after this experience and am determined not to take all our comforts for granted.”

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