Wānaka Sun       

MAC student collecting for the homeless

Posted at 6:49am Thursday 05 Nov, 2020 | By Joanna Perry newsdesk@thewanakasun.co.nz

An eleven-year-old MAC student is collecting public donations to deliver to homeless charities as part of her term 3 topic enquiry project.

Year seven student Priya White said it was an “obvious choice” for her to study the impact of homelessness in Wānaka for her project. She first became aware of people living on the streets when she visited her grandparents in Spain. Then, whilst staying in Auckland and Christchurch and seeing people begging on the streets, she decided to do something to help.

“I made a list of things that I thought would be useful and bought some items like shampoo, socks, sanitizer, tissues and some food, and went with my mum to donate it to a homeless man on New Year's Eve when we were staying in Christchurch.”

For her project, White researched the perceptions, causes and effects of homelessness across New Zealand and spoke with a number of charities, including Christchurch and Wellington City Missions. 

The project also required students to take action on their chosen topic - so, White decided to set up a display at the Wānaka Library to increase public awareness about homelessness locally and how the community could help. 

“I am collecting donations of toiletries that I will take to one of the homeless charities that helped me with my work,” said White. “If I can get more people thinking about the reasons people become homeless and what can be done to support them then that's great too.”

White's teacher, Tiffany Kent, said that White had gone “above and beyond” with her topic enquiry project, and had taken a huge amount of initiative. “She is an incredible young lady,” she added.

Members of the public can drop the following items into the library: shampoo and conditioner, soap bars, sun screen, lip balm, plasters/bandages, hand sanitiser, toothbrushes and toothpaste, sanitary products and deodorant.

Read edition 999 of the Wānaka Sun here.

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