A vision of life without the luxury of water on tap

01 Jun 2023

Somes House is putting its weight behind World Vision’s 40 hour Challenge, 16–18 June.

As part of their service programme, the boys are planning a beach clean-up at New Brighton where they’re aiming to collect 40kg of rubbish per year group, for the 40 hour Challenge.

The initiative is the result of the World Vision Youth Conference in Christchurch earlier this month, which was attended by Somes students Alex Johnston, Ollie du Toit, George Grace, Duncan Fletcher, and Erin Rutherford.

“The aim of going to the conference was to inspire us with ideas of what Somes could do for our service programme because we didn’t have one,” Ollie says.

Entitled ‘One more drop’, the conference drew attention to the dire shortage of water in many parts of the world.

“We use 200 litres a day while people in Africa only use seven litres. And it was heart breaking to learn that 800 children die a day because of a lack of water.”

Describing what they heard as confronting, George says he was horrified to hear that kids couldn’t go to school because they had to collect water.

“It’s such a different experience from us and it really made me appreciate what we have here in New Zealand.”

The boys learnt about what was called “the bystander effect” or watching something without doing anything to help.

“I thought about this in relation to school, how if you see something like bullying and don’t do anything about it, you’re part of the problem. It’s important to stand up and not just be a bystander,” Duncan says.

Finally, the boys were given information to help put their fundraising initiatives into action, how to set a goal that is challenging but achievable, and to put a realistic plan in place.

Ollie says the conference inspired the boys to look at further projects for their service programme.

Ka ora te wai,
Ka ora te whenua.
Ka ora te whenua,
Ka ora te tangata
With living water,
The land will thrive.
With living water,
The people will thrive.