Caritas Challenge – sleeping rough & eating only rice

Ruma Toroa students slept rough and ate only rice for tea on Friday night to raise money for the Caritas Challenge.

“The Caritas Challenge is an annual event aimed at schools and youth groups to build solidarity with those living in poverty or injustice. It offers hands-on experiences that are fun and informative, while raising funds. During the Challenge youth are encouraged to undertake an activity for 24 hours that brings them closer to the living conditions of those less fortunate.” [Caritas]

All 13 students from Rüma Toroa participated with about 12 parents and two teachers (Pesamino Tili and Paul Richardson). For the Challenge they will be slept over night in cardboard boxes, walked to the church to gather water, “sang for their supper” outside Gardens New World supermarket. In 40 minutes they made around $300! This was used to purchase a sack of rice which fed the children that night.

This money and any donations collected will be donated to Caritas to benefit families in Philippines and Vanuatu who have recently been affected by natural disasters.

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You can still support the children of Ruma Toroa’s efforts until Good Friday (3rd April) by making a donation in a couple of ways:

1. Txt – challenge shdun – to 833 to make a $3 donation
2. Go to

Dunedin television station, Channel 39, came to the school on Friday afternoon as the children were constructing their sleeping quarters. You can watch it here.

We’re all extremely proud of the children who took part, and very thankful for the teachers and parents who supported them and made this opportunity possible.