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Rongotai College Ready to Help Samaritans

Rongotai College Ready to Help Samaritans

Rongotai College students get to be the good Samaritans this week to the Wellington office of the organisation of the same name. The student-led Interact group is providing collectors in the Kilbirnie shopping area for the Samaritans of Wellington Annual Appeal on Friday August 24. The twenty students will provide collector coverage throughout the day at Pak ‘n’ Save Kilbirnie and outside the Kilbirnie ASB.

“The annual appeal provides a significant proportion of the funding required to keep our volunteers listening and caring 24/7, so for the students to volunteer in such numbers gives us a real boost,” says Annual Appeal co-ordinator Graham O’Hanlon. “Rongotai should really be congratulated for their efforts in creating closer ties with the community among their students.”

“Our aim is to help our community grow, and help it to be a better place,” says Interact vice-president Tanzeel Talim. “We try to do at least ten outside-school projects a year of our choosing.” Tanzeel joined in 2008 as a Year 9 student, seeing it as “…a good way to give back.” As vice-president for the last two years, he relishes the role: “It is a big leadership opportunity,” he says.

Interact falls under the umbrella of Rotary International, but has been operated by Rongotai College for a number of years, during which time Principal Kevin Carter has seen significant changes in its makeup: “Our society has changed significantly through immigration. What we are seeing now is a much more diverse group of students. Our Interact club reflects the way these young people are becoming New Zealanders and becoming part of our society and wanting to give back to it.”

Samaritans of Wellington has operated since 1965, providing a confidential, non-judgmental telephone listening service. Trained volunteers field around 20,000 calls a year, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, offering support to those in emotional distress. To help support our volunteers, collectors will be out around the streets and shopping centres of Wellington during the Annual Appeal on Friday 24 and Saturday 25, or you can donate at any Wellington ASB branch or online at www.samaritans.org.nz.


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