Young fundraisers at James Hargest College (JHC) have two reasons to celebrate.
The World Vision group has been named one of the top 40 Hour Famine fundraising schools in the country, and Year 12 pupil Grace Dudfield has received a leadership scholarship.
This year JHC pupils raised almost $12,000 to help Syrian children living in refugee camps in Jordan.
Group leaders Ryan Wilkinson (17), Nathan Cook (18), Claire Russell (18) and Kate Donaldson (17), all Year 13, encouraged more than 200 junior and senior pupils to take part and organised an event where about 50 pupils lived in the school gymnasium for 24 hours sustained only by what they could fit into a backpack.
They said they were pleased to have raised so much money.
“We had set a goal of $4000,” Ryan said.
“We outdid the amount raised last year, which was cool,” Nathan added.
World Vision South Island schools partnership manager Harley Hamilton, who visited JHC and other Southland schools recently to thank them for their fundraising efforts, said $1.6 million was raised by young people throughout the country.
One school, Saint Ketigern’s College, Auckland, made a “supreme effort” and raised about $100,000, but JHC’s fundraising tally was among the best in the country, he said.
“Raising almost $12,000 is absolutely incredible. I am proud of their efforts. The leaders did an amazing job.”
The money would be spent on providing refugee children with classrooms, teachers, educational resources, access to trauma counselling, and safe places to play in the camps, he said.
Grace (16), was one of 31 pupils from around the country invited to a four-day leadership training course in Auckland in October, he said.
Year 12 pupils from top fundraising schools were selected so they could return to their schools and lead fundraising activities in Year 13.
The course was sponsored by Sanitarium and no World Vision donated funds were used, he said.
Grace said she had been involved with the World Vision group for about three years and was looking forward to the course, and to bringing back skills and ideas for next year’s famine.
– Allison Beckham