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Combining volunteer activity with project management skills, that are linked to the New Zealand primary school curriculum, is all part of the Student Volunteer Army (SVA) Schools Programme funded by the Citycare Group.
In 2019, 32,000 primary students and 1000 teachers in 1000 classrooms across the country were involved in the programme, delivering a range of community based projects to make their world a better place and to encourage understanding of community and volunteering. These figures represent 7% of all students in New Zealand.
“Volunteering gives us a chance to learn, to grow and to connect and the SVA schools programme is all about mobilising students within their local community. This past year we have seen some amazing projects to inspire young people. Projects ranged from planting of natives in local reserves through to duck nesting programmes. It doesn’t really matter what the project is – it is the sense of fulfilment and satisfaction the students gain from participating in a local project. This is a life learning opportunity and we are delighted that Citycare is a partner in the programme,” said Sam Johnson Founder and Executive Director of SVA.
“Citycare looks for sponsorship opportunities that make a difference to the people in our communities and that also have significant learnings and impact. The SVA schools programme provides the ideal sponsorship – it helps grow kids that care. We love to see our young people getting out and mucking in on projects that impact them directly. They can see the difference it makes to plant a tree or volunteer their time for a good cause. At the end of the day it helps to grow better people and that works well for Citycare,” said Onno Mulder CEO of the Citycare Group.
As part of the schools’ programme SVA provides a school teaching resource to all registered schools. This includes a range of tools to enable teachers to guide the programme with their students. The kits are generally all allocated within 72 hours of teacher registrations opening, giving an indication of how popular the programme is.
Citycare has recently renewed their sponsorship of SVA Schools to enable the programme to continue in 2020.
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When Christchurch residents report an issue with their water, various Citycare Water teams step in to ensure the problem is repaired in a timely way.
Thousands of residents report water reticulation problems in Christchurch each month and prioritising the fixes is a continuous exemplar of collaboration between the council and Citycare Water.