Challenge staff and whānau worked hard to put together the Challenge float for the Johnsonville Christmas parade, which took place over the weekend.
The theme for this year’s float was ‘we’re all in this together’.
Flags from different countries were flown; ‘Merry Christmas’ in different languages adorned the float. The overall message of unity and harmony was the vibe amongst the tamariki and whānau that came out to participate and support.
A massive thank you to all involved and a Meri Kirihimete, Feliz Navidad, Maligayang Pasko and Merry Christmas to everyone!
Hola, como es costumbre, queremos compartir contigo este 7 de Diciembre el Día de las Velitas un a fecha especial para celebrar en familia. Lugar Iglesia de San Pedro y San Pablo en Johnsonville a las 7.30 pm. Esperamos nos acompañes.
Hello! We are celebrating Candles Day on Wednesday 7th December. This is a special tradition – inmaculada concepción, and is a big celebration in Colombia. This will be at St Peter & Paul Church in Johnsonville at 7.30 pm. We would love for you to join us.
Whakapapa grounds us: in belonging, identity, meaning and love.
On Wednesday 5th October, the carving that tells the Challenge 2000 story and lists our whakapapa was blessed (again). New names had been added to the carving, so we gathered and gave thanks for all who have lived this story of love and service.
Our kaumātua Luke Crawford led us in karakia. Fr Kevin Conroy SM sprinkled holy water on the carving, blessing it. And our children played around us, a sign of hope that Challenge’s story of love and service continues to unfold and grow.
A sumptuous hāngī meal was shared. Being together – our whanaungatanga – renewed and refreshed us.
“Our amazing young people spent three days on retreat last week at El Rancho in Waikanae. A time of reflection and motivation (mainly without cell phones) to think about life, the past, the present and the future.
A big thank you to Bernie and Kirsty, who shared their lives and were inspiring.
The Archery focusing on how you reach your goals in life was a great exercise, with Moni being named the new Arrow.”
Asking a school social worker what a day in the life is like is an impossible question; no day is ever the same. Some days can be filled with mundane back to back meetings, sorting students uniforms and delivering food parcels. Other days can be hearing students disclose abuse at home, seeing your clients be involved in fights or creating intensive safety plans for students at risk of self harm. Overall, it can be a very intense environment to work in and is sometimes chaotic.
The general and overly simplistic summary of social work in schools is that we attempt to remove barriers that impede students ability to succeed at school. These barriers are varied, but we tend to support students who may be unsafe at home, they may live in poverty, be homeless, have disabilities, behavioural challenges and experiencing other circumstances that make attending and engaging in school difficult.
Our engagement first begins with a referral from worried school staff members, self-referral or sometimes even the students’ friends bring them in to see me. After this, I will meet with the young person and start the relationship-building process.
My Master of Social Work research on relationship-based practice and boundaries informs my practice and means I put the young person at the centre of my interventions. I believe relationship based practice is really fundamental to good social work practice as it helps to make the students feel safe and comfortable to share really difficult and personal challenges they may be facing. This creates the foundations to start working on some goals and the intervention process. We aim to give the young people a voice, to set goals to enhance their well being though te whare tapa wha, and to help remove some of those barriers to education they may be facing.
Overall, the work is really varied and no day is ever the same. Each day begins with a well intentioned to-do list. But is often thrown out the window when a crisis arises. It can really be chaotic, but I wouldn’t change anything. Helping the students through the chaos and being a person to guide them is a real privilege and is what gets me through the challenges of the job.
Sophie Jennings is a Challenge 2000 MASSiSS social worker at Aotea College.
Junior, one of our amazing YWiSS Youth workers recalls…
In the first week of the School Holidays, 15 of us ventured up north based around Omori/ Kuratau for a 3 night camp. It was a good mix of boys, some from Colleges nearby, and others in our Youth Justice Programme.
The main kaupapa of the camp was for these young men to have fun and to mix with other students they would normally not interact with. It was also an opportunity to get these young men outside of Wellington and involved in some new experiences. For some of them, it was their first time outside of Wellington!
On Thursday we headed up to Whakapapa Skifield where the boys had loads of fun with the snow. Some of them learnt the basics of how to ski, while others just enjoyed being in the snow, as for some this was their first time seeing it. We were also lucky enough to go up to the very top of Mt Ruapehu through the Sky waka (gondola).
On Friday we had more of a gruelling activity. We went mountain biking through 17kms of the hills of Taupo and Huka falls. It was a good challenge for all of us! Everyone did well and managed to complete the cycle. We finished off with a nice swim at the hot pools in Taupo before heading home.
There were a few highlights of the trip. What stood out for me was throughout the trip the boys started to interact really well with each other. They all started to come out of their shell and open up with each other. This was really special to see!
Thanks to Challenge for giving these young people the opportunity to get away from Wellington and to push themselves outside their comfort zone.
We are excited to announce that we have a Challenge 2000 Fundraiser Movie night screening of “Whina” on Wednesday 20th July 7:30pm at Penthouse Cinema, in Brooklyn!
You are all warmly invited to join us to see – invite your whānau, friends, flatmates… the more the merrier! All details are in the invitation attached below.Tickets are $20 and all proceeds will go towards families / young people that are struggling this Winter.
This will be an awesome time for all of us to get together, celebrate, re-connect and watch Dame Whina Cooper on the big screen. We hope to see you there,
Last Thursday we spent our June staff training learning about Matariki.
Jessica-Maraea our Group Programme Facilitator writes:
“Mānawatia a Matariki! So much happened on Thursday, where to start! I delivered a ‘Matariki 101’ presentation focusing on the significance of Matariki to Māori followed by some activities for everyone to do in small groups. The first was brainstorming ways we can implement the teachings of each star into our work with youth, whānau and the community, which resulted in some wonderful ideas! Including ways to spend meaningful time with whānau, time to remember those who have passed, and ways to link with our natural world, to sum up a few. We also had a light-hearted dress-up competition which helped to embody some of the ideas in each group’s brainstorms! I was so impressed with the creative and brilliant ideas they came up with, stay tuned next Matariki to see some of them come to life!
We had a member of the Porirua community, Meri Holmes, join us to teach some harakeke weaving. She taught us how to make stars out of harakeke. For some of us, it was tricky but the smell of freshly cut harakeke filled the room and transformed the atmosphere into a special space and made the experience all that more enjoyable. Thank you for joining us Meri!
Hangi was on the menu for lunch! Made with food brought by everyone, which was prepared and served with love by Mel and partner Whare, it was so delicious, a big thank you to the two of you! And finally, we ended the day with some team-building activities run by the wonderful cadets from Mana Colleges Service Academy, we were so impressed with their ability to get stuck into the activities despite only having met us that morning and again with their leadership skills to run the closing activities, well done Rangatahi mā.
Overall it was an enjoyable day full of fun, laughter and learning.”