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32,000 Kiwi students volunteer to help disadvantaged

Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Thursday, 8 November 2018, 7:40a.m.
One of the projects will be hosting a disco for elderly people. Photo / Getty

At least 32,000 primary school students will be using their classrooms as volunteer hubs to help elderly, refugees and foster children.

The initiative is lead by the Student Volunteer Army and will give students the opportunity to identify and lead projects in their local communicates."

So far the projects include hosting discos for the elderly, compiling packages for refugees and making blankets and books for foster children.

The most popular project however are centred around animals, with Manukau's Somerville Intermediate School teacher Hayley Carter saying anything which involves the SPCA is a hit.

"Anything to do with animals, anything that has SPCA or guide dogs. Animals seem to be very popular which is cool."

"They are really excited to go into schools in other areas and read to kids, play games with them. Mowing lawns and washing cars seems to be very popular."

Speaking with Kate Hawkesby she said each student has a different role.

"Some of them will be finance officers, they have got to come up with budgets [and] talk to the teachers, talk to the principal, talk to community and find out whether they can get any financing."

"There are leaders , there's caterers - which seem to be the most common one with a whole bunch of intermediate students who like to make sure everyone is well fed, and of course there are all the doers who actually turn up and get it done."

Carter said the projects has helped students become more engaged with their local communities.

"There are a lot of kids who have realised through this project that they can actually contribute to the community and it has given them a voice to be able to participate actively rather than just watching and going along with what the adults do."

She said the project can also help kids feel comfortable asking for help when they need it.


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