Social justice at the heart of challenge day

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To learn about Catholic social teaching, students and teachers at St Dominic’s School, Blockhouse Bay, took part in a social justice challenge day on October 30.

All the children were put into teams to take part in challenges set up and carried out by teachers and a special leadership group, the St Dom’s Disciples. The challenges were intended to encourage discussion, awareness, empathy and understanding about social justice issues.

Pupils from St Dominic’s School, Blockhouse Bay, Auckland, take part in a social justice challenge day on October 30.

Among the issues talked about were the fact that not all children can go to a tap for a drink of water or even access clean water at all; that some children don’t have warm, clean homes; and that trees are being cut down around the world at a damaging rate because of consumerism.

“This was a chance to open eyes and plant seeds for change,” said Daniel Pepper, the school principal.

He said the children also sent out messages to their parents on a webpage created. These were based on their thoughts, what they had learnt and what they needed to share on topics. Their passion was evident in their messages.

The student were sponsored by their whanau in the challenges, which included discussion, reflection and prayer for those for whom the issues were a reality. The challenges included:

  • Water relays to transfer water
  • Building a shelter that could stand up
  • Planting around the school
  • Picking up rubbish around the community
  • Filtering and cleaning water

Year 5 and 6 students were also encouraged to fast on the day and think about what it’s like to be hungry. Nearly all of them chose to take part and received a small serving of rice at lunch time.

The social justice challenge day raised just over $1400 for Caritas and collected around 300 cans for the Monte Cecilia Housing Trust.


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NZ Catholic Staff