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World Vision Youth Conference

On Tuesday 2nd of May, 4 Rutherford College Prefects, accompanied by Ms Linda Fraser, attended the World Vision Youth Conference. Aneka McKinstry, Jayden Kesa, Maria Koosache, and Keira Schriefer represented our school by participating in what the day-long presentation had to offer.

The World Vision Organisation presented Matt and Rachel Renata as Kaihautu or hosts for the day. Rachel and Matt are passionate about helping young people discover their unique identities and sense of belonging.

Together, they introduced us to the ‘Bystander Effect’ and how certain aspects of ignorance can delay our efforts in helping to end this Global Water Crisis.
Diffusion of Responsibility, Evaluation Apprehension and Pluralistic Ignorance are all aspects of the Bystander effect and are cognitive ways of thinking that prevent us from shaping ourselves into leaders of change.

We also had the honour of hearing the world views of two guest speakers. Vira Paky and Aigagalefili (Fili) Fepulea’I-Tapua’i.
Vira Paky is an amazing Congolese-Kiwi Activist, writer and poet. She’s a firm believer in the power of art to heal and create social change. Vira chose to speak out about her life as a refugee. Her perspectives of the world and New Zealand through the lens of a refugee were shaped by life experiences.

Fili is constantly looking to find ways of sharing her messages surrounding climate change and culture through stories. She’s a Samoan-New Zealand award-winning poet and activist aspiring to enhance our efforts towards change. When asked if there was any difficulty in her road to activism, she mentions how her family joke around with her “Pick up that piece of rubbish Ms Climate Change” – other students often saw no real reason for her speeches. She attests her present active position in leadership to determination and perseverance “Do what you know is the right thing.”

As a group, we learnt some shocking facts that helped us to gain a better understanding of how some communities are in a constant water crisis. 800 children die a day due to a lack of clean water from Australia to sub-Saharan Africa. The World Vision Youth Conference helped to equip the 4 prefect students with the resources and capabilities to represent change and become beacons for Rutherford’s own 40-Hour Famine. This will take place later this term and will be hosted by the Student Council. Led by Shalom Devendra and Jayden Kesa, they aim to involve the whole school in raising money to address a pressing worldly concern. The Water Crisis.

We would like to acknowledge Rutherford’s Deputy Principal – Brendan Curran and our teacher in charge for the day, Ms Fraser for offering leadership positions to the student body. Overall, we couldn’t be more thrilled to have been offered the opportunity to hear from the speakers. We encourage you to participate and donate to Rutherford College’s 40-Hour Famine.

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