Principal Simon Green says the grant helped families send their children on camps and buy uniforms and stationery, get students kapa haka uniforms and an instructor, take the school out to Adventure Waipara for a day of swimming and waterslides, and have Life Education and Elgregoe visit the school to talk about life skills and positivity.

“In terms of property infrastructure, the earthquake affected us – but also it affected the wellbeing of families,” Simon says.

“A lot of families came out from Kaikoura [after the quake], but there were also families who relocated to Amberley after the Christchurch earthquakes. Some of the trauma those young children experienced was evident. Without the funds from Red Cross we wouldn’t be doing this range of events for our children."

Deputy head girl Molly Shepherd says her highlight was the school camp to Kaikōura.

“We went over the Peninsula for a big walk, we went kayaking and we went to the museum and on a whale watch – we got to learn a lot about the whales. It was a really good camp.

“We also learned about how the people of Kaikoura were affected in the earthquake.”

For deputy head boy Riley McLachlan, kapa haka is a big part of Amberley School. All the senior classes take part, practise together every Wednesday and take part in a performance with other schools in the region at the end of the year.

“I just feel it brings everyone together, and with our culture. And it’s just a fun thing to do.”

New Zealand Red Cross launched the grant in February 2018 to assist with earthquake-related needs among schools in Hurunui, Kaikōura and Marlborough. The aim was to help build resilience and positivity amongst children and young people, so they are well-placed to rebuild strong and vibrant communities over the coming years.

The funds were raised from the special appeal launched after the November 2016 earthquake.

All schools in the three areas were invited to apply for a grant amount for their students, based on their decile, roll and needs of their students. Of the 48 schools eligible, 22 schools applied and were approved for funding.

The grants, which had a one-year term for expenditure, were used for camps, stationery, uniform, leadership programmes, kapa haka uniforms and instructors, performing arts and guest speakers, community BBQ and hangi, school gardens, counsellors, yoga and music and art therapy.

Help us help others

First in, last out. We are committed to helping people recover from emergencies.

Disasters, both natural and man-made, can happen at any time, anywhere in the world. People who never expected it can find themselves in urgent need of shelter, drinking water or medical aid. You can make sure that New Zealand Red Cross is always there to help when disaster strikes, bringing emergency supplies, medical care and relief to stricken families and communities.

Your donation goes to where the need is greatest. Find out more about donating here.