Whangarei Girls' start Interact club

By Kristin Edge

A group of enthusiastic students have created a bit of Northland history by establishing an Interact club to work on local and international humanitarian projects.

Interact is Rotary International's service club for people aged 12-18 and while it is popular in Europe there are very few clubs in New Zealand.

But now Rotary 9910 District Governor Lindsay Ford has presented a club charter to about 20 students from Whangarei Girls' High School, creating the first Interact club in Northland.

Inaugural club president Jessica Swanepoel, a former Rotary exchange student to Belgium, said it was exciting to have the club up and running and they already had a number of projects they had identified to help.

The projects included Food for Life and promoting the donation of blood to the New Zealand Blood Service.

Club member Lily Mehrtens said she thought it was an excellent opportunity to become involved in community projects.

"I like helping in the community and this is another way we can help," she said.

City of Whangarei Rotary "Youth are the future and we must nurture them. Through Interact they learn how to become involved in local and international projects, promote peace and goodwill and develop leadership skills," Club president Sandra Leonard said.

Mr Ford said young people had a huge part to play in the community.

"This is a momentous day."

- Northern Advocate

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