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Student stories - School's life

Students raise $6,300 for Syrian displaced

Students at ACG Parnell College have raised more than $6,000 for children affected by the war in Syria by participating in World Vision’s 40 Hour Famine.

All levels of the school were involved: those in Years 7-13 went without food for 40 hours; younger students carried out 40 good deeds over 40 hours, took part in a ‘coin trail’, or gave up comfort items like electronics or furniture.

A key initiative was a social dodgeball game between teachers and students. Teachers won.

The 40 Hour Famine is this year raising money for children displaced by the war in Syria, which has seen the largest forced migration of people since the Second World War. Funds raised support the development of Child Friendly Spaces in Jordan refugee camps and informal settlements that hundreds of thousands of refugees now call home.

World Vision coordinator Andrea McDowell visited the students at ACG Parnell College recently and said their efforts had been nothing short of an inspiration.

“I have been blown away by the student leadership and motivation that has been shown during the course of the 40 hour famine at ACG Parnell College. The students have had some awesome ideas that prove their belief in the cause and the need for young people in New Zealand to stand up for the children in Syria.”

The $6,300 raised is enough to fund two classrooms at $2,500 each, equipped with desks, chairs and playground equipment. The additional money could fund stationery packs to give to 65 students, morning tea for 28 students for an entire term, 17 students to be supported through recovery with arts, sports and counselling, or 13 teachers to have the essential tools to restore critical education for these children in need.

Student leader Emily Zeng said this year’s focus on children made the cause particularly poignant for the school. “3.7 million children in Syria have been misplaced from their homes and no longer have access to education. Our school’s contribution will allow these children to experience the childhood that they have been deprived of, living in a war zone. We know that it’s important to give back, ensuring that each child has the chance to enjoy their childhood,” she said.

Over the years, ACG Parnell College has raised more than $20,000 in the 40 Hour Famine.