Blood brothers – and sisters

February 25, 2015 by Simonne Brill
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A team of eight Moriah College Year 11 students has reached the International finals of a prestigious Future Problem Solving Competition. 

Blood brothers and sisters - Jared Pitt, Rebecca Shteinman, Isabella Nahon, Ryan Lonstein, Ricci Amoils and Lori Bernstein

Blood brothers and sisters – Jared Pitt, Rebecca Shteinman, Isabella Nahon, Ryan Lonstein, Ricci Amoils and Lori Bernstein

Calling themselves ‘The Blood Brothers,’ the team members will be travelling to Iowa, USA in June, to feature their creative solution to a community problem. 

Future Problem Solving (FPS) requires students to identify, strategise and attempt to problem solve, a major issue within society. By applying a six-step problem solving process, the students aim to solve real-life problems within their communities. Reports of problem solving projects are evaluated, and winners at each of the age divisions may receive invitations to attend the International FPS Conference.

The Blood Brothers captured the attention of the Australian FPS Judges, with their unique approach to addressing the vital need for ongoing blood donations from young adults within the community.

The innovative program, involves educating fellow students about the need for blood donations, and encouraging individuals to become life-long blood-donors from a young age. Teachers are also encouraged to participate, and the team is providing practical opportunities for students and staff members to donate blood during school hours.

As team member Sam Lees explains, ‘the purpose of the ‘Blood Brothers’ Group is to raise awareness amongst young people about the shortage of essential blood supplies in Australia, and the need for young people to develop a habit of donating throughout their lives in order to assist with what will always be the high demand for life saving-blood supplies.’

Earlier this month, the group successfully organised for the Red Cross Blood Service to set up a blood donation station in the college gymnasium. Over 100 people – students and teachers – were prepared to donate blood on the day, which the Red Cross acknowledged was an outstanding response.

‘As part of this process we have now organised several blood donation days at our school, and we have hopes of branching out into other Jewish schools and the broader Jewish Community as our initiative gains momentum,’ says Sam. ‘Having the Red Cross visit the school is a great way of demystifying the process for many students who had a number of misconceptions about the process of giving blood. It provides an opportunity for students to see first-hand what a simple and easy thing it is to donate blood. By raising awareness of this issue, it should motivate members of the Jewish community, especially students our age, to become regular blood donors and actively help address a problem in our society.’

‘Our students have demonstrated great initiative and given much of their own time in bringing this stage of their project to fruition. They are great ambassadors for the College and we wish them well as they reach out and involve other Jewish Schools in the next phase of their project,’ says Moriah College Head of High School, Jan Hart.

The Blood Brothers aim to share donor stories with school students to encourage future donations, and are preparing for a second donation day in April. As team member Ricci Amoils says, ‘you don’t need to be someone special to take part in this project; you can achieve something so meaningful by working as a team and having the drive to help others.’

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