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Photo by Aimee Mahuta

The Gift of Giving

Aimee Mahuta —

On Friday 10th May, "Living the Pai Life" students travelled to Christchurch Bull Breed Rescue in Woolston to deliver donated goods and offer their time to help the centre's volunteers.

The Year 9 & 10 student Kete Wana group started their module at the start of Term 1. The purpose of "The Pai Life" course (now renamed "Kaupapa Pai") is to explore creative ways to contribute to the world we live in, in a positive way. Examples of this include random acts of kindness, supporting awareness days, understanding harmful consumption and adapting personal habits, sustainable living and reducing waste/harm to the environment.

The course is heavily student driven; they trial and error ways to raise awareness and prompt change, as well as sourcing the help and following the need to fulfill their purpose.

Students were given an opportunity to research and choose a local organisation that could benefit from their help. They chose Christchurch Bull Breed Rescue (CBBR) in Woolston. CBBR is a centre dedicated to taking in homeless bull breed dogs, rehabilitating them and re-homing them. It's a complicated process that takes a lot of time and patience from the small roster of fabulous volunteers. The caring of the animals is entirely reliant on donations from the public or organisations such as Paw Justice and Pet Rescue.

Over the course of their module, Pai Life students tried various methods of collecting donations from students and staff, including food drops, coin collections in the Cafe and enticing peers and family to add to the donations.

On D day students were put straight to work. Armed with gloves, rubbish bags and brooms they were tasked with clearing the CBBR site of weeds, rubbish, stray dog toys and even doggy doo...

During the visit, Pai Life students learned of the long hours put into keeping the centre operating. Their 1 hour visit saved the volunteers an entire day's work. This realisation left the students inspired to do more.

Quotes by students who attended CBBR: "It felt good to actually help someone, like actually do something - we should be doing an hour of this every week", "If every school did this imagine how many people we could help?" The inspiration from this experience has prompted students to start their own "Volunteer Club" so they can continue to find more organisations in their community to help.

This group of students will finish their 13 week module this term, at which point a new group of Junior College students will have an opportunity to explore and experience the gift of giving back to their community. Watch this space.