ANZACS – We will remember them

We will remember them!

For the past 20 years Challenge 2000 has encouraged our young people to reflect on ANZAC day, what it meant in 1915 and what it means today.

Our focus is on Service, Sacrifice, Peace and Justice and how these are significant values of our country – now and then.

Much time is spent on learning about WWI and WWII in particular and how these wars shaped the psyche and soul of Aotearoa New Zealand.  Then a play is workshopped, practiced and delivered in centres and churches.  What happens is incredible.  The “actors” actually absorb the identity of those young men and women who served overseas.  Flanders Field becomes real to the “soldier” and the mum and children who stayed at home know the pain and fear of waiting.  The nurse writing the letter for Reg on board the hospital ship leaving Gallipoli is moved to tears as Reg says how his younger brother was killed on the beach.

Kids playing


20160424_192318 20160424_191819 20160424_192252The haka by a soldier of the Maori Battalion at El Alamein honours his dead comrade and beings the spirit of his ancestors alive again.

Words can’t describe it really – but our young people grew as they discovered the history, feelings and courage, fear, pain and reality of War and its wide ranging effects.

Now we need to not just remember but to act so that all can have the quality and type of life that others were prepared to serve and die for.

Will you serve? Will you sacrifice? The challenge is there. Worth thinking about – worth acting on!


And the conversations weren’t all serious…………………

Conversation in a vehicle:

Sam, 7, who acts as a boy in 1945: “When I take Under Mike by the hand – shall I say come and see my poster of Aaron Cruden?”

Luke, staff member: “Ummm maybe don’t say Aaron Cruden cos he wasn’t alive in 1945”

Sam: “Shall I say Christian Cullen?”

Luke: “No I don’t think Christian is that old either! Maybe you just say rugby stuff?”

Sam: “Yeah maybe the All Blacks weren’t invented them!!!”

Challenge College

Challenge College –

Alternative Education Programme

Challenge College has started off really well. The students have
worked continuously hard with their correspondence work and are making real
progress. Our afternoon sessions have worked well with Sport, Drama, Girls
Group and our newest activity ‘Keeping Johnsonville Beautiful’, where we
go around Johnsonville parks and pick up rubbish. Giving back to the

The last week of term saw us out and about in Wellington on our EOTC Week
(Education Outside The Classroom). A few activities we did were rock
climbing, lawn bowls, driving range, swimming, a big coastal walk (visiting
the Ataturk Memorial and Wahine site), watched Hurricanes training, a walk
through the Botanical Gardens and many more! It was a great week of team
building and new experiences for the students.

As money is tight at the moment (well always) we sent a letter out to various Marist Colleges in New Zealand asking if they could run some fundraising activities in their school and donate the funds to Challenge College. We were very lucky and grateful to have a few schools send us some donations, which helped us fund out EOTC Week.

Below are some photos of our activities for the week.

Lawn bowls

EOTC Week – Lawn bowls

Rock Climbing

EOTC Week – Indoor rock climbing

Kilbirnie Memorial

ANZAC Day Trip – Gerard Tully talks about the Kilbirnie Memorial

War memorial

ANZAC Day Trip – visit to the War Memorial

Angllican Cathedral

Kitty talks about the memorial in the Anglican Cathedral

Ataturk Memorial

Students visit the Ataturk Memorial

Pushing the van

EOTC Week – team building exercise – after the van broke down!