SVA Ōamaru Camp

Rainy weather couldn’t stop students from putting in some hard work!

Over the weekend of 14th to 16th of May, the Student Volunteer Army (SVA) went to Ōamaru for its first Hopuni (camp) of the year. The University of Canterbury club teamed up with students from the University of Otago to do some mahi in the wider Waitaki region. The work spanned two days with around 60 volunteers helping out.

Wet weather delayed the projects on Saturday, but the sun came out to allow for an afternoon of work. Volunteers restored nearly 1000 trees to native forests with Forest and Bird, Waianakarua River Planting Group, and Waitaki Community Garden. Volunteers also paved about 800m of track with Mountain Biking North Otago.

The community groups expressed their gratitude for the help that the Student Volunteer Army provided. Chairwoman of Waitaki Forest and Bird Chloe Searle described the assistance as “a real boost” and hoped that volunteers would be able to “come back and visit in a few years to see how their work is going.”

Ra McRostie, the Manager of Waitaki Community Gardens described volunteering as “one of the things that makes all the good in the world come to the fore.” 

Sunday allowed for a full morning of volunteering at Waitaki Girls’ High School, Camp Iona, Waitaki Resource Recovery Trust and Te Whare Koa. The projects varied from sorting recycling, garden maintenance to filling potholes. Volunteers were also provided a warm lunch by Peterpan Bakery and Cafe on Sunday, which was very much appreciated after a hard morning’s work. 

As well as doing some hard work, volunteers got to see the sights of Ōamaru through op shops, Steampunk HQ and Whitestone City. This gave students from the different universities the chance to get to know each other more. 

UC SVA Treasurer Keruma Gibson reflected on the Canterbury and Otago collaboration for the camp as a wonderful opportunity to “create new relationships whilst bonding over meaningful work.”

The UC Student Volunteer Army would like to thank all the community groups that were worked with over the weekend. Every one of them does incredible mahi to improve the Waitaki region and create strong bonds in the district. 

Through camps, the Student Volunteer Army gives students the opportunity to see more of Aotearoa and make an impact across various communities. To keep up to date with the mahi that we do, follow us @uc_sva on social media!


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