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Lindsay Corban (Chair)
“After journeying through the wilderness for more than two weeks, I see life differently now,” one Otahuhu College student said after completing Project K’s team activities. “There were many things I now appreciate that I took for granted.”
Students from Otahuhu College excelled in their crash course in teamwork, leadership, and planning. They worked together to overcome fears – such as abseiling – organise a community event, and kayak, tramp and bike through Tapapakanga Regional Park.
Two days of induction in Manukau focused on team-building activities, learning about Project K values, and how to set individual and team goals.
For the next four days at Tapapakanga, students worked on developing routine and learning the outdoor skills they would need to survive the final 10 days. The remainder of the Wilderness Adventure took place at the Hunua Ranges.
“It challenged me mentally and physically,” one student said afterwards, “but as a group we pulled through.”
Students learned the importance of working together, and they did need each other – activities included kayaking 21km from Kawakawa Bay to Waharau Regional Park, 19km of tramping, mountain biking and abseiling at Hunua Falls.
Abseiling was a highlight of the expedition. At first two students hesitated, but with team support all of them completed that leg.
They learned another important skill, as they took turns taking charge: leadership.
“One of my highlights would have to be being a leader,” one student responded. “I found that as I lead my group, I was gaining skills such as being more confident, the ability to work with others, listening to different ideas and finding a solution – and we were all given the chance to experience this.”
After the physical, mental, and social challenges that grappling with nature presented, the students emerged positive and more confident. “I have more hope in my future,” another student said. “I am more equipped to face future trials and I am very excited to see what I can achieve.”
For the community challenge students got to stay closer to home, but it opened their eyes to more than their own potential. One responded to the experience with a simple statement: “I want to volunteer more often.”
The students were able to contribute to their community by creating and organizing their own service project. An “Amazing Race” activity exposed them to the local resources available to them, and then on May 10 they put on a health and fitness day that included volleyball, basketball, and circuit training.
Then, as a group, they decided to host a fun day for children at the Mangere Refugee Camp. They set up games, activities, and performances for the refugees. The students rang, wrote, and visited a variety of organisations to ask for their involvement, including a request for sausages, bread, and onions from Bid Vest.
Their sausage sizzle sold out and raised $120 for sports equipment for the children at the camp. Through this opportunity to reach out, students developed their planning, organisational and communication skills.
“I learnt that it’s not always about me; there are other people in our communities that need our help,” said one participant.
And, while it did teach them to think about others, there is no doubt they benefitted from the project too. As one student said, now “I’m ready to communicate properly with future employers and work in a team with colleagues.”
Mentoring can be a rewarding and positive experience and it's such a great opportunity to give back to the community. Change your life and sign up to become a mentor. For mentor enquiries and registration please contact Lisa Easte, ph 09 488 0147 or 021 420 958.
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ANZ Staff Foundation
Child, Youth and Family
Four Winds Charitable Trust
Foundation for Youth Development
Manukau City Council
Manukau Community Foundation
Ministry of Social Development
NZ Community Trust
Te Puni Kokiri
The North and South Trust
The Southern Trust
Water Safety Education Trust