What is the Internship | Gap Year Programme?
Challenge 2000 in partnership with the Society of Mary has offered this full time programme based in Wellington since 2007. Each year, eight participants have accepted the challenge to spend a year working, learning, developing and serving others in many different communities across Aotearoa New Zealand.
In 2018, a full internship aspect was integrated into the programme, for young graduates or those wondering about career/life style changes. This aspect provides participants with an opportunity to further develop their dreams and gain from a wide range of social, cultural, geographical, political and formative experiences.
The year long programme involves holistic formation, NZQA youth work training, employment and life experiences and exposure to diverse opportunities that assists development and train present and future leaders in Aotearoa New Zealand.
Participants get a unique chance to develop the social, spiritual, cultural, intellectual, social, employment, well-being and physical elements required for a positive, successful and balanced life. While this is a group programme within the whānau of Challenge 2000, each participant follows an individual pathway to suit their particular needs, aspirations and interests.
Participants are paid an allowance/wage for the duration of the programme. This is dependent on joining skills, experience and volunteer/ employment histories.
To date over 100 participants from around Aotearoa New Zealand and overseas have accepted this invitation and graduated from the programme.
This Challenge 2000 – Society of Mary Programme is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. In 2022 we will also include aspects of Living in a Covid World and also offer opportunities to make a difference in working to save the planet!
So if you are interested in discussing or chatting about the programme then contact Kitty on 021491459 or firstname.lastname@example.org or call Challenge 2000 on 04 477 6827.
What do previous participants say about the programme?
During my Gap year I gained so much work experience I would not have gained on my own. I am so grateful to have met the people who have helped build a foundation that have made me who I am today. One of my highlights during the year was going up to Hiruharama, Jerusalem. It was awesome being able to get away and learn from other people on how they were raised and how they do things. It was a very humbling experience. Continuing on from the gap year, I am now employed in the missions team. We do a lot of various work in the community such as furniture removal, landscaping and general help. Thanks again!
I am really enjoying my gap year so far. This year has allowed me to grow not only professionally as a trainee youth worker, but I have also grown personally. By being open to exploring new things I have never done before and by being surrounded by people with extensive knowledge to share about the strengths and challenges of New Zealand, and the world I have been pushed out of my comfort zone. I have also been lucky enough to go to different types of conferences and talk to other youth workers and youth organisations about ideas that I have around different issues that are troubling the youth of today. Overall I am really enjoying this year and look forward to taking the knowledge I have gained personally and professionally into the world later in life.
My year spent on the Challenge 2000 Marist gap year was one where I gained independence and confidence. I learned about the youth and social sector in a wonderful supportive community. It was certainly an adventure of a year, opening my eyes to the hard work of many youth and family agencies across our country, and the injustices that exist for many of our young people.
Taking the risk and joining the Challenge 2000 Marist gap year programme has been the most pivotal decision in my life. Unsure what to do next after high school, I left Dunedin and joined the gap year programme in 2013. I was convinced that I wasn’t very good with people; working with young people was the last thing I wanted to do or thought that I could do. Throughout the year, I met a diverse range of people from all walks of life who encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone and ask myself tough questions about what I wanted my life to be about. Both during and after the gap year, Challenge 2000 and the Marists have offered me countless opportunities to grow and to share what I have with others.
Looking back now, the Marist Challenge 2000 gap year played a key role in my journey so far. The diversity of experiences, people and challenges that I encountered were so formative in shaping me into the person I am today! The gap year made me aware of my own gifts and talents and provided me with many different ways of expressing them. I have also learned valuable people skills, and learning styles which have benefited me significantly with my university studies and job opportunities. I am so thankful for my time on the Gap year and wouldn’t trade it for any other experience, it is like no other!