Students send aid to Kiribati

Pasifika students at Mahurangi College are hoping their fundraising efforts may prevent another drowning disaster in Kiribati.

Two Mahurangi College students have led a campaign that will see over 100 life jackets sent to Kiribati.
On January 18, a ferry travelling from the island sank. About 90 passengers perished because of a lack of life jackets.

Pasifika liaison teacher Gay Murphy says following the tragedy, Pasifika rep Eunice Lanyon and Kiribati student Aborina Arawatau came together.

“The girls were naturally upset by the sinking and were keen to do something to help prevent another similar incident, so they came up with the idea of sending over life jackets,” Gay says.

Life jackets were collected in a number of ways, with some donated by locals and others bought from Hutchwilco at wholesale prices.

The students ran a mufti day at school and a business studies event, raising $1600 to buy the jackets.

Some were also obtained through the Old 4 New Coastguard initiative, where people trade in old life jackets that are still usable to be given to community causes.

Sometime in the next few months, a parent of a Kiribati student will deliver the jackets to the island.

The maritime police unit also supported the initiative by visiting the college to talk with the students about water safety and show them a police boat.


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