Students making a difference in the community
In August, our students, alongside the UC SVA and other Year 10s from local schools, volunteered at Cultivate Christchurch as part of the SVA’s Year 10 UCan programme.
The programme provides local secondary students with mentoring by the SVA to become leaders in their communities through volunteering.
During the project, the students tended worm farms, composts, mulched and transported materials that were necessary for the ongoing work that Cultivate does. Fiona Stewart, co-founder of Cultivate was amazed at the amount of work that the group got through. “Isn’t it amazing how much work a team of people can get done in such a short amount of time, it would have taken our staff so long to do any of that. The group were super engaged and it was super enjoyable to have them all here.”
The SVA In-Schools team of Alyce Lysaght, Luci Trethewey, and Daniel Stack also commented on how engaged and impressed they were with the students throughout the programme. The students reported back that they thought it was awesome how they learnt how to do new things outdoors that they wouldn’t normally do. They also expressed that they enjoyed the natural conversations with the other students they just met that happens when you’re volunteering.
Along with getting out and making a difference in the community, the Year 10 students also spent two days at the University of Canterbury and got to learn more about the SVA, how it was founded, and the work it continues to do in the community as well as connect with like-minded high school students. In the final part of the programme, the students were challenged to come up with a project idea that they would like to implement within their own school and/or community. The SVA Schools team is very aware that the three sessions spent directly with the students was not the end of the UCan programme, and they look forward to working with and mentoring them to complete a volunteering project in their local community.