Monday, July 8, 2013

Students Tackle Poverty in NZ

by Ciara Pratt,

Massey students
Massey High School students combatting poverty in New Zealand

Students from Massey High School plan to combat extreme poverty in New Zealand one step at a time. A group of four year 13 students have entered the Social Enterprise Competition where they will have one month to contribute ideas to address poverty throughout the country.

The entrepreneurial competition gets groups of four students from years 11, 12 and 13 to identify a social issue relating to the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals. With the help of a mentor they then have to come up with a practical solution to the social issue.

The Massey team entered the competition last year and made it to the Auckland finals with its plan to provide more education options to primary children in Afghanistan. This year the team is focusing efforts a bit closer to home.

Shirin Zakeri says she wants to encourage more young people to get involved in helping the needy in their own backyard. "If a person has the potential and opportunity to be part of something like this they should do it. We can make something happen and change someone's life."

Regional winners will go on to the Social Enterprise Competition National Finals Conference where they can win up to $1500 to action their idea.

After seeing poverty issues discussed in the media and by the Government, Jemma Mounter says she decided she wanted to be part of the process to fix poverty."I want to be able to help someone other than myself. Working on these issues really opens your eyes to what is happening in our country."

Social Enterprise Competition national project manager Simran Poonia says the event engages students with world issues and is a great way to develop their potential.

"At P3 Foundation we believe young people can come up with amazing ideas for addressing social issues both at home and internationally. The Social Enterprise Competition gives them a chance to actually make the world a better place."

To register participants or for more information, visit Registrations close July 3.

© Fairfax NZ News

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