Charity challenge tests pupils

By Alexandra Newlove

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About 40 Pompallier students were sleeping rough last night. Photo / John Borren
About 40 Pompallier students were sleeping rough last night. Photo / John Borren

Fed up with the rain?

Spare a thought for the 40 or so Pompallier Catholic College students who faced a chilly night in bamboo huts last night.

The overnight challenge formed part of the school's effort to raise $10,000 for Catholic charity Caritas, with all students taking part in sponsored challenges of their choosing, based around the theme "move it, stop it, live it and sweat it".

This year's challenge was in aid of Cambodia, where many people face social injustice and sub-standard living conditions, sleep-out organiser and Year 13 pupil Johanna Pool said.

"The thinking behind the overnight was it is for people that want the more extreme," she said. "It's to try to do something similar to how people in Cambodia actually live."

Johanna said she had been speaking in assemblies trying to get other students to come on board. About 40 had signed up in the end.

Students would be building their own shelters using tarpaulin and bamboo, they would decamp to the the former sleeping quarters of the schools' nuns in case of emergency.

"It's gonna be cold. We're allowed a small foam roll and thermals and jumpers and stuff," Johanna said ahead of last night's effort.

Guidance counsellor for the Whangarei school Damian Pullen said the activities throughout the week were designed "to give students experiences which help them to appreciate their privileges and how people live in other countries".

Year 12 Joiemaia Lubrica said she had opted to live on $2.50 a day all week.

"You can apply it to how about 3 billion people in the world actually live," she said.

"Today I've had half an apple and really runny curry ... and a lot of water."

- Northern Advocate

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