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Karamu High School strengthens ties with KidsCan

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Karamu High School student Esta Chaplin has added another community role to her name, having been selected onto the inaugural KidsCan Youth Council.

The 16-year-old, who is already co-deputy chairperson of the Hastings District Youth Council, says she excited to be helping the community in another way.

"It is quite cool to have been selected because I wasn’t sure if I would be. I was just like ‘I’ll just apply. I’m not going to lose anything’ and so it was quite surprising when I got the email."

Esta is one of 10 students from around New Zealand to have been selected onto the council for New Zealand’s leading charity dedicated to helping Kiwi kids affected by poverty.

It is an opportunity for high school students to practice leadership within their community, gain professional experience working with the charity, and create a positive impact in the lives of tamariki (children) and rangatahi (young people) nationwide.

She says her Year 12 Dean Colin Rafferty encouraged her to apply.

"I decided to apply because I really am interested in community-based projects and when I read the application form, it talked about community engagement which is what really gets me excited.

"And because I am involved in the community already, I thought this could be something else that I could add and learn from."

She believes it is important for organisations to have a youth voice.

"It’s really exciting that we can be KidsCan’s youth voice because the important work they do is targeted towards tamariki and rangatahi. I’ve learnt, especially though Hastings District Youth Council, that the youth voice is a vital part of our future."

Their first virtual hui was held at the end of last term.

"It was amazing to be able to meet a wide variety of people and learn more about KidsCan and the important work they do in our communities."

She is also looking forward to developing her leadership skills further, with the guidance of others.

Karamu High School principal Dionne Thomas congratulated Esta for yet another fantastic achievement.

"Supporting our community is an important value we endeavour to instil in all students. Esta exemplifies what this means and is an important role model for her peers."

Mrs Thomas says they are very pleased to have been added as a KidsCan school since 2021.

"They have been providing us with food for our Breakfast Club, food for lunch packs and food that we have been delivering to families.

"Breakfast is a vital meal of the day and so Breakfast Club was created to operates four mornings a week for anyone that has an early morning training, arrives at school early or just wants a warm place to meet with friends for cereal or toast.

"It is warmly supported by staff to help students with unfinished homework too."

This year they have also received shoes from KidsCan and will soon receive jackets to use for families that need them.

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