Super School, Super Kids
For most parents, getting children motivated in the morning to prepare for the day ahead is the most challenging part of their day. However, not so for Pacific students arriving at Haeata Community Campus to pray and play on the campus basketball court at 6am.
The ‘Early Morning Start’ is a programme initiated by Jeremy Faumuina, mentor of the students.
“It is a time for our amazing children to connect and engage. It is also an opportunity for us as adults to break down some barriers using social activities that they can relate to. Breakfast afterwards is a given bonus.”
“If they’re choosing to meet us at 6am, then it’s fitting to honour them with breakfast. It’s not that they don’t have breakfast at home; it’s because they’ve made a conscious decision to come and hang out, pray and start their morning by being together before their classes.”
“In my line of work in wider Christchurch, and in the North Island, this has been the most effective way to be alongside our young people. We need to make sure that when they see teachers, social workers, health providers, and even pastoral care, that there are indeed no barriers. This programme allows that to happen.”
The school is designed to accommodate Year 1 to Year 13 students and was built after the 2011 Christchurch earthquake.
“For such a large school, it is encouraging to have these students making good decisions and we hope the younger age groups will follow their example.”
“Teachers join in the early morning programme, which helps build important relationships. Therefore, when the kids see them in the playground or in class, they do not see barriers and can connect with them easily.”
“We all know that Pacific and Maori people do things together, and so if we can channel that togetherness energy into a positive movement for the kids, then we all win,”
Pastor Jeremy has been involved in youth programmes throughout the country for over 20 years and is the founder of the Samoa Alofa Trust, who assist the Samoa Victim Support Group [SVSG] in Samoa. The Trust leads a mission that takes volunteers from various church groups throughout New Zealand to Apia to work in the SVSG centre in Apia.