Recently, some of our student leadership group attended the World Vision Youth Conference, which focused on empowering and encouraging students to be our future leaders for justice and equality.
Millions of young people around the world face injustice and inequality every day of their lives. While many see news of war and disaster almost daily, few feel empowered enough to step up and challenge the status quo. The World Vision Youth Conference focused on changing this by encouraging students to challenge what it means to be a leader and to lead for humanity.
The conference had a number of speaker sessions, collaborative exercises and interactive workshops available to provide students the opportunity to gain valuable knowledge and skills. The speakers at the event inspired our leadership group to act and encourage others to stand up for young people experiencing injustice and inequality and be leaders of global change.
Key speaker Julia Zhu discussed how we as leaders could use our platform for young minds to come together to build our social awareness and learn how our actions can help put a stop to global injustice. Another speaker, Chris Jupp, also shed light on global inequality and how leadership with purpose can make a real difference. Listening to these speakers sparked a passion for justice, and really gave us as students an opportunity to channel our potential for leadership.
A special and sincere moment was experienced between all students when speaker Abe Nouk shared with us a poem he wrote after hearing about the devastating Christchurch shootings. His poem was as follows – “Signs we are flowers to blossom; the sun is shining. As we wake aware some flowers will not blossom by no fault of their own, we will accept the responsibility to water ourselves with compassion and grow in loving unity.” Listening to his heartfelt words inspired me, and other students, to open our hearts and minds to really see the people around us in this world.
The World Vision Youth Conference had a great impact, empowering us as students to advocate for and lead social change in our local and global communities. The influence this conference has left ensures that we use our position as leaders to leave a profound effect on others for years to come.
– Kelda Elborough
On Thursday 27th of February, 9A went to Mangere Mountain to witness an actual volcano. For the last 6 weeks, we had been focusing on volcanoes and other natural disasters. We arrived at 9:30 in the morning we were met by our guides at the entrance to the mountain. We walked for a short period before coming upon a plastic red box. Our guide got us into groups of four and gave us a sponge with a bottle with vinegar in it and a spoon of baking powder. We had to pour the baking powder into the vinegar which reacted with a splash of white foamy liquid.
Once we had all tried the experiment we went for a brisk walk to a depression in the land. Our guide explained that this was once a storage place for food used by the Maori people that lived on this mountain. We walked back to where we created our first experiment and prepared for our second. We were each given a plastic bottle filled with a brown chunky liquid and placed it through a hole in a plastic sack. Then we opened the lid and watched it slowly wind its way down the sides of the sack.
After the experiment, she explained its significance. “In each of the bottles was a cheap soft drink mixed with glue to make a chunky texture, the carbon dioxide bubbles in the soft drink represent the highly pressured gases inside the lava”, our guide told us.
Soon afterwards we climbed to the highest point on the mountain and circled the rim of the dual craters before walking down into the second crater to inspect some ‘lava bombs’. She showed us the different types of lava bombs and how they formed. We then ventured to Ambury Farm Park where we were each given a helmet as it was time to explore the lava cave underneath one of the fields. The entrance was covered with a hollow grilled piece of steel so you could not access it without a key. Our guide opened it and we descended into the cave, it was a gloomy area illuminated by one stream of light coming through the hole we just climbed through. It was about ten meters wide and 1.5 meters tall. Our guide explained that caves like this were made when lava cools on the outside but the lava remains warm and keeps moving, creating a sort of tunnel. She proved it by showing the igneous rock on the ceiling and walls.
Finally we had a civil defence unit; it would be the last activity we did. We learnt about what would happen if a new volcano erupted in Auckland. We found out about pyroclastic flows and lahars and their devastating effects. Our guide gave us an idea of what happens in an evacuation and what we needed to take should we ever need to be evacuated. At last it was time to leave. We wished our guide well and left.
– By Thomas McCulloch 9A