Country urged to 'colour your day' for Christchurch mosque victims

Author
NZ Herald,
Section
National,
Publish Date
Tuesday, 19 March 2019, 3:07PM
Schools and businesses around NZ are joining the movement to "Colour Your Day" this Friday. (Image / Supplied)
Schools and businesses around NZ are joining the movement to "Colour Your Day" this Friday. (Image / Supplied)

A "Colour Your Day" movement designed to lift New Zealanders' spirits after the Christchurch mosque killings has taken off, with schools and businesses joining up around the country.

The initiative, started by Christchurch youth worker Jay Geldard, encourages people to wear something colourful this Friday to mark one week since 50 worshippers were killed in the two mosque attacks.

"Colour Your Day has come from asking how do 4.8 million people respond to an event like this? You get a sense that there's this desire, and it's like people who have been quite down don't know how to respond," Geldard said.

"So it's saying, let's just put on something bright. It could be socks, it could be scarves, it could just be mufti - you'll just see people in bright colours and you'll know you are all together."

The initiative has been endorsed by the Christchurch City Council and will raise money for a fund for families affected by the attacks set up by Mayor Lianne Dalziel, Our People Our City.

Organisers are also asking people to pause at 1.40pm, when the shooting started last Friday, and think of the victims and their loved ones.

Geldard said he consulted the Muslim community and their advice is that it would be inappropriate to wear red, but any other colour would be okay.

Jay Geldard, coordinator of the 24-7 Youth Workers network which has initiated the 'Colour Your Day' movement after the Christchurch mosque attacks. Photo / Supplied

Jay Geldard, coordinator of the 24-7 Youth Workers network which has initiated the 'Colour Your Day' movement after the Christchurch mosque attacks. Photo / Supplied

Although Geldard coordinates a national network of youth workers in schools and churches, 24-7 Youth Work, he said the initiative was for all New Zealanders.

"It's not just for young people, it's for all of us," he said.

He has emailed all NZ schools and promoted the idea generally through social media.

"We have been in communication with the schools in Christchurch, and the feedback from them is that things are still too raw, but the feedback from other schools around New Zealand is, 'Thank you, we want to do something,'" he said.

"We had Fisher & Paykel Healthcare say they are going to do it with all their staff. This is for all of us, from the elderly to the young, saying we need some encouragement, we need to realise we are all in this together."

He said the movement had "gone a lot bigger than any of us had imagined".

"It's just gone crazy," he said.

Meanwhile Anglican schools are making paper chains of people holding hands. Anglican Schools Office director Rev Dr Anne van Gend said some schools were writing a message on each paper figure and planned to give the paper chains to local mosques.

The Anglican schools will also toll their bells 50 times at 1.40pm on Friday and hold vigils until 2.20pm, when the first people were let out of the mosque.

"It's only symbolic, it's a little thing," van Gend said. "But it gives them a way to express their feeling."

Schools and businesses around New Zealand are joining a 'Colour Your Day' movement on Friday. Image / Supplied
Schools and businesses around New Zealand are joining a 'Colour Your Day' movement on Friday. Image / Supplied
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