Street Day Appeal 2020

Calling all friends, benefactors, and people of good will!

This year’s Challenge 2000 Street Day appeal is a virtual (on-line) event. On Thursday 26th November, we’ll be asking those who can to donate in support of our work on our givealittle fundraising page:

As we all know, 2020 has been a tough year. During the COVID-19 lockdown, we were deemed an essential service and remained on the frontline, serving young people and their families. We’re extremely grateful for those who supported us during this time, both practically and financially.

We appreciate that so many are under pressure during these difficult and uncertain times and the young people and families we serve still need help. If you’re able to make a donation towards this work of love, please put a few dollars aside ahead of our (virtual) Street Day Appeal on Thursday 26th November! More details to follow…

Kaikoura Placement


Once it was confirmed that my placement was in Kaikoura, I was actually quite excited to say the very least. I was going somewhere that had an environment I was used to and that was close to home, as I’m from Christchurch. Some of the things I experienced there varied each day as everyday was never the same, I went from shredding old files and learning the history of the local Marae to helping with a small health and fitness program that was held at Hapuku school, and attending a few small events within the community. My overall experience whilst spending my time there was very eye opening as I was able to learn more about myself and I had many conversations with the people I worked alongside with, that was able to help me get an idea of what I want to do next year. I learned how to be more sociable and how to interact with more people, which was a huge challenge for an introvert like me. I could definitely say now that my time there was very memorable and I was able to make connections with people that I feel will be lifelong friends.


My placement in Kaikoura went really well, I was pretty nervous for placement due to being outside of home, outside of wellington on my own for three weeks, but the people I was with made me feel like Kaikoura felt like a home away from home. I stepped out of my comfort zone in the first week, helped run a programme at a primary to intermediate school, learnt a lot about the students there and had a good time playing alongside them. Got to see a lot of Kaikoura and some of the South Island. I am very grateful for this experience because it has been such an eye opener for me and has given me ideas of a possible future.

Jerusalem Placements


Kia Ora! 

My name is Hannah Aunoa and I’m doing the Gap year programme with Challenge 2000. I have just completed my gap year placement which was located in Hiruharama, Whanganui. Even now I still feel very privileged that I had the opportunity to spend 3 weeks in the Awa. We had the honour of meeting and getting to know the families there as well as learning many different things from everyone, for example, bee feeding. This was my first experience with being that close to that many bees’. It was very nerve racking at first since I didn’t know whether I had an allergy or not, but, once I got into the rhythm of things it was really enjoyable. I will never forget my time there and the many things they have taught me in that beautiful place. 


My placement was based in Jerusalem, a small village an hour away from the nearest town Wanganui. I really enjoyed my time up there, what really surprised me was how lay back it was up there. Me thinking about a farm and how much work they had for us no, it was really nice although there was work it was capable for Hannah and me to do. A highlight that really stuck out was the hunting I did with the lads. It was something different but I was always keen to give anything a go and experience as much as I could so I could go back full of stories to tell friends and family. Although the time up there was long every night I texted back to my family how my day was which was calming because I hadn’t been away from home like before and was quite home sick but got there in the end which was great. If I had to take one thing I felt in my placement would be the family feeling I got from the locals and how well they treated us.

Staff Training

On 7th & 8th October, Challenge 2000 staff gathered for a two-day workshop. Both days started with reflection time, sharing of recent experiences and a chance to reconnect with one another. The rest of the Wednesday was then spent working through the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator as a chance for staff to understand themselves and one another a little better.

On Thursday, the focus was on supporting behavior and responding to challenging situations, with input and discussion around the impact of adverse childhood experiences on development of the brain.

Comments from staff about these two days included:

I absolutely loved learning about what myself and others personalities in the Myers Briggs! It has been extremely helpful in learning about how different people approach tasks and how they come up with ideas. I learnt a lot about myself, including what my slightly ‘weaker’ areas are and what skills I should be capitalizing more on.

The work on challenging behaviours was really helpful. It made me stop and think again about the trauma some young people experience and what it does to them. Also, made me grateful for the combined wisdom and experience of our staff who work so lovingly to support young people who are hurting.

I have always enjoyed staff training as it is a great opportunity to spend quality time with the whole Challenge whanau. It was great checking in with each other, especially as there are a lot of people that I had not seen for a while!

Gap Year Placement

Xycacia recently returned from her Gap Year placement in Dunedin. This is what she had to say:

I didn’t really know what to expect when I found out the location of my placement. In fact, I was hoping for a completely different place, especially once I found out that I’d be going alone. Yet being aware of these challenges already, I was open to face them with nothing but an open mind and a strong attitude. Packing my bag was the first challenge. That’s the moment it hits you that you’re about to be separated from a place you’ve known your whole life, filled with friends, family etc. Being surrounded by new people. That was the second challenge. The past three weeks have been nothing but challenges, prepping me for the future and helping me self-improve.

I went from working a register at St Vincent de Paul’s, to participating in a cook-up for Vinnie’s, to helping out at homework club at St Mercy Hospital, to working with a school, to leading a youth group. All of which included social interaction and, being a shy introvert (to say the least!) made it difficult. However, going to Dunedin was without a doubt one of the best things to happen. I learnt that it is okay to trust people. I learnt so much about the history of Dunedin and the Scottish relations and, in a way, I felt my relationship with God became stronger than it ever was. We toured around and got to see some pretty amazing sites, like the Robbie Burns statue (Scottish poet) and seeing the steepest street in the world (Baldwin Street). We went to the peninsula and saw some seals, and we went around Otago University and learnt more about history. Dunedin has shown me parts of myself that sometimes I find hard to face, but the end effect left me with a better and improved self with some pretty great friends too.

Outward Bound!

Each year, Gap Year programme participants go on placement outside Wellington for 3-4 weeks. Last month, Aroha and Tim went to Outward Bound. Aroha describes the experience as follows: 

Thanks to the amazing sponsors who gave me the opportunity to attend Outward Bound. We participated in many activities, including sailing, high ropes, kayaking, co-steering, rock climbing, solo (having to survive in the bush by yourself for three days) and service. Outward Bound gives you the opportunity to look into your future and push yourself towards your dreams, as well working to achieve your small goals. It was a completely new experience which gave me a new perspective on Aotearoa and helped me be more definite about life decisions. In a way, being at Outward Bound has changed my life. – Aroha

New Educator for Taita College

Mat Anderson

One the impacts COVID-19 has had on young people is making the challenge of education even more challenging! Whilst the majority of students have transitioned well back into the school routine, for some it has been harder. As we know, in order to be successful, students need to attend school consistently. Supporting students to remain engaged has been identified as a high priority.

In response to this need, Challenge 2000 has been able to provide one of its partner schools, Taita College, with an experienced educator. Mat Anderson (Ngāti Maniapoto) has been a teacher and senior leader for many years.

Mat is working with a group of students lying beneath the 10 numeracy credit threshold, giving them the skills and confidence to tackle maths assessments that contribute to the credits required to get NCEA. Students have responded well to “Matua”, as they call him, and are enjoying working alongside him and achieving.

Although a different role to what he’s had in the past, Mat is enjoying the chance to work with smaller groups of students in a more focussed way. Some students have even put their hands up to do additional assessments after achieving the mandatory 10 credits. “It’s heartening to see what these young ones are capable of when they believe in themselves.”

Thanks, Mat, for the difference you’re making in the lives of these students.      

Social Workers’ Day 2020

Thank you to all our social workers, social work students and youth and community workers on the work they do to support personal, familial and community transformation in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Thank you for the love you show, the skills, knowledge and commitment that you share and the energy and passion that you put into your mahi.

Thank you for the personal sacrifices you make for others, the burdens that you bear and the way that you all show up time and time again to support, heal, redirect, distract, develop and grow belief and hope in others.

Challenge 2000 and our extended whānau are grateful and so proud of the huge contribution you all make to bring about the dream and reality of social justice, social responsibility and personal dignity for all people in our Island nation.

PLEASE show gratitude for our staff and whanau today.

Spread the love! Spread the Justice. Spread the Hope.

Aroha mai – Aroha atu!