Pictured on Banks Peninsula from left are Chris Allan, Kaine, Alijah, Jonty, Michael, Andrew, Jac, Joseph, MacK and Tak

An adventurous journey

by Mike Isle

It has been an adventurous journey for nine special-needs students from the Waitaha Learning Centre as they strive toward the coveted Duke of Edinburgh’s Bronze and Silver International Award.

The award, facilitated in Selwyn by the Joshua Foundation, has seen students from the Rolleston-based school tramping on Banks Peninsula and along the Canterbury coastline.

Joshua Foundation founder and director Chris Allan said that teamwork, leadership and personal accountability were key to the award programme, and all students rose to the challenge and performed beyond expectations.

“The students performed exceptionally well and were physically challenged each day with the focus being placed on developing an understanding of the great outdoors, developing an awareness of personal strengths and weaknesses, and how they can use their strengths to help other students,” he said.

The physical challenge was reflected in some of the comments from the students. Jac said he was tired but liked the walking, Andrew had sore legs but stated proudly, that he kept going, for Joseph the highpoint was finding a shrimp at New Brighton and showing it off at school.

Chris Allan said he loved working with Waitaha Learning Centre. “These young people are valued members of the community and don’t hold back when it comes to challenging themselves. They are truly young people after my own heart, and I have the utmost respect for their personal determination and the willingness to accept new challenges.”

The Joshua Foundation delivers leadership training; adventure-based learning activities and mentoring programs to organisations throughout New Zealand and the South Pacific. It also delivers a number of focussed programmes to corporate clients, colleges and youth organisations throughout Canterbury.