The Mother of Divine Refuge is dedicated to the housing and support of families who experience Domestic Violence. Over the years they have supported thousands of people to heal and today run numerous successful programmes that cater for youth and families.
Recently a class of Auckland University Pacific Youth Development youth worker trainees and their lecturer spent time listening to their poignant testimonies and also their experiences, challenges and breakthroughs. Their was a lot of wisdom passed on. The students gathered that this was a precious time to have elders who take the time to walk alongside the youth.
‘When we first ask why we are quick to exclude, we can then enact positive change’. This point was raised by the young women of McAuley High School as they unpacked the theme of Social Exclusion. The positive change in question was recognised as social inclusion – the call to bring one another together.
As part of today’s Vinnies meeting, a group of students from St Dominic’s College unpacked the theme of ‘Prisons’. They spent their lunchtime analysing some key statistics of the prison system here in New Zealand, and reflected on how this may impact on the wider society. Now better informed, they look towards how they can best assist the community and incrementally find ways to take action.
TO BE INCLUDED
Pictured below are the young men of St Paul’s College who reflect on the theme of “Social Exclusion”and how the dignity of others is upheld when we take the time to be present and listen. It was quite an insightful and challenging session for the students as it provided an opportunity to call to mind that which we often deduce as our ‘out group’ from ourselves and from society.
PREPARING FOR SOUPTEMBER
Recently the Tertiary Vinnies gathered for their monthly meeting. These young men and women are preparing for the annual “SOUPTEMBER” . This project entails the bulk making of soup for the families of those residing in the Ronald McDonald Houses.
REFLECTING THROUGH MIND AND ACTION
Recently the students of Carmel College Vinnies reflected on the theme of “Homelessness” where they discussed the implications for people who lack the basic needs and also the vital opportunities that are fundamental to one’s development and livelihood. It brought forward many feelings such as shock, gratefulness and most important of all – hope that their ongoing actions will make a difference.
In preparation for an upcoming immersion experience into the community, the students of St Mary’s College dedicated today’s meeting to getting connected with the heart of their mission as young servant leaders. We look forward to seeing the upcoming immersion unfold.
SERVING THE COMMUNITY
As part of their service to the community, students from Marist, St Peter’s and St Mary’s College have been visiting their local SVdP Centre. Key activities included the organizing of bookshelves for the sale, merchandising, cleaning the shop, and packaging food for families. This project provides a platform for students to get to know their fellow community members through a safe and positive environment.
OUR CALL TO SERVE
In preparation of their service projects for the local community, the young men of Liston College reflected upon their calling to serve. Discussion today was centred around those who are marginalised without a place to call home, and how we are called to remind ourselves that we belong to the same page and same book of life.
BRIDGING THE GAP
As part of the role of a student leader in Vinnies, a gathering is held once a month to bring like-minded individuals together and develop their skills. A recent gathering provided an ample opportunity to bring in a couple of guest speakers to share some of their experiences in social justice present in the community. The information proved most invaluable, giving the students a deeper insight into how their everyday actions affect the immediate and wider environment.
LOOKING BEYOND THE NUMBERS
In alignment with the theme of ‘food insecurity’, the young men of De La Salle College reflected on the implications it has on the community, and how the variety of costs faced by differing lifestyles influences a families ability to put food on the table
FUNTIMES NEVER END
Although some of the children and families have moved on to find their own homes it didnt stop this crew of Vinnies from Sancta Maria College from having fun together with a few of the kids and families who are still housed at this local emergency housing. We look forward to the new families and children who will be joining this community over the coming days that we will continue our journey of learning and creating a time of fellowship through the After-School programme.