Dreaming of a better life

Student Rani Barda has done her best in the past year to support the practical and emotional needs of women living at McAuley House. Last year she joined a group of young girls and their parents for a working bee at McAuley House and more recently she made a Dream catcher, as part of the Twelve Batmitzvah Program.

Twelve is a volunteering program for girls who are having their Batmitzvah. The girls and their parents volunteered to run the working bee because they wanted to help create a lovely garden space and cook some food for the staff and women at the house.

Earlier this year, Rani celebrated her Batmitzvah, the time when a Jewish girl turns 12 and takes on some of the responsibilities of becoming a woman.

As part of the program, Rani spent a day each month of last year volunteering for different organisations, including McAuley House.

“Throughout the year I learnt how important it is to give back to the community, especially those who are less fortunate than ourselves,” Rani said in a letter to McAuley Community Services for Women.

To mark her Batmitzvah, Rani created three dream catchers to donate to charities that she felt most connected with during her year of volunteering. Fortunately, McAuley House is one of the recipients.

“Dream catchers are a native American tradition that has been around for generations. They consist of a round hoop with a loose yarn net spun inside, similar to a spider’s web… They are meant to hang above your bed at night to protect you from the bad spirits. The web is supposed to filter out all the nightmares and only leave you with the good dreams,” Rani said.

“I have chosen to send one of these to your organisation and I hope that you find a good place to hang it above a bed used by someone who is going through a difficult time to relieve them of some of their worries.”

One of the McAuley House residents has the dream catcher hanging in her room.