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Student Volunteer Army Day 11

Bulk deployment ends – Squadron and Street team work to continue

After digging silt in 30 degree heat on the last day of their deployment the Student Volunteer Army (SVA) Battalion were praised by Tertiary Education Minister, the Hon. Stephen Joyce, for their effort in bringing a sense of normality back to suburban Christchurch.

SVA field team leader, Sam Johnson, said today 300 volunteers were deployed into Bexley, Burwood, Shirley, The Kate Sheppard Retirement Village, Waltham and Woolston primary schools and Manning Intermediate to remove silt.

“We’ve achieved so much since we started eleven days ago, mountains of silt has been removed from the eastern suburbs,” said Sam Johnson. “The Army did not exist a fortnight ago and nearly everyone involved is aged under 30. The troops have performed a miraculous job – I want to thank each of them.”

“I’d also like to recognise everyone who made donations to the Army, particularly food, water, wheelbarrows, shovels, heavy machinery, telecommunications and money to pay for transport – without you the Army would not have run so smoothly and we’d still be out there.”

On their return to UCSA the Battalion was rewarded with cold soft drinks, water, ice creams, a spit roast and they were entertained by musicians and comedians from TV3’s Seven Days.

Today 180 Squadrons, made up of three to five people who have their own transport and equipment, were assigned jobs registered on SVA website, www.sva.org.nz. SVA Squadron team leader Pete Jakowetz, said today around 600 jobs were completed across the city. “The 0508 STUDENT call centre will take a break over the weekend, however messages can be left on the phone and we’ll be back into it on Monday. Volunteers still need to register for this work.”

The Street Team operation provides face-to-face information to residents who are without services. SVA Head Quarter’s team leader, Louis Brown, said today 130 troops delivered informative MSD fliers to residents in Christchurch’s southwest, Hoon Hay, Halswell and Sockburn. Over the weekend the troops will deliver 15,000 – 20,000 Christchurch City Council fliers to residents in the hardest hit suburbs. The fliers will advise residents as to the locations of a number of public meetings on Sunday and Monday.

“We realise many people have been unable to lodge jobs due to a lack of services," said Louis Brown. "We’ll come back from the weekend refreshed and determined to ensure all priority jobs are completed."


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