All the Way from Brazil…

My name is Jose Texieira, I’m Brazilian and I arrived in New Zealand on the 24th of July with the objective to learn English, see places and understand the culture of this beautiful country.

Through Fr. Mike (a Marist Priest who has lived in Brazil) I learnt about Challenge 2000.

I was thinking of staying for one or two weeks in Wellington to work as a volunteer but something made me stay longer.  As I couldn’t understand the language and activities taking place at Challenge 2000, I started out by only observing.  Through actions and non- verbal communication, I started understanding that there was a very spiritual base to their work.

The main objective of this agency is to show youth the light of change each and every day.  We all are born equal of God and because of our journeys in life, we may take paths that are not the most beneficial to us.  Challenge 2000 (C2K) helps people find their light and follow a right path.

Challenge 2000 believes that everyone can uncover their dignity, value, and brilliance and to also understand that it can be a tough journey but that it ispossible.   They give people the opportunity to grow and start over.  In a short amount of time, I have seen big transformations in young people in all the various activities. 

They help people obtain food; help people move houses, clean up neighbourhoods, and provide a save and caring environment for youth to grow.  C2K believes that youth are agents of transformation and can change the situations in which they live.

I have been fortunate to participate in many important moments, such as a baptism, graduation of youth from the Odessy and outdoor Camp programs.  The youth camp program, gave the young persons opportunities to get to know their abilities, values and ways to improve themselves.  They talk about their personal histories to help them realize what is important to change and meet their future goals.  Also, the youth workers treat the youth with dignity and kindness and give them the opportunity to learn important societal values. 

Challenge 2000 also gives special attention to minority groups.  In Brazil, I perform pastoral work with gypsies and I understand how minority groups can suffer. In this group, I’ve met people who bring a rich culture and in Challenge, they have an opportunity to express themselves and share their strengths.

To be able to run all the projects and activities, Challenge 2000 counts on the help of so many people, some with prayers, giving their time, or by financial assistance.  I see that at this time, they are in need of financial support to buy a new van.  The van is important to help continue the success of programs such as the Odessy and camping excursions. 

I’m very happy that I’ve met this group.  It helps remind me, that Jesus is not forgotten.  Challenge 2000 doesn’t discriminate against race, colour, or religion and I hope that many people can get to know and help this group accomplish its goals.