Youth across the dioceses take up the Caritas Challenge to show solidarity with poor.
Cardinal supports youth living rough
by NZ CATHOLIC staff
The Johnsonville youth group Challenge 2000 endured the hardships of sleeping outside in cardboard shelters overnight for the second year in a row as part of the Caritas Challenge.
More than 50 young people from the Wellington youth group joined schools and other youth groups around the country to take on the Caritas Challenge on March 27-28.
The Caritas Challenge is an annual 24-hour event to raise youth awareness, build solidarity with those living in poverty or injustice and raise funds for Caritas’s work.
Wellington Cardinal John Dew came to show support and encourage the young people in their endeavour.
“To live in cardboard houses and eat basic food… helps people to realise there are many around the world who live in very difficult situations,” said Cardinal Dew amongst a field of cardboard
houses next to the Challenge 2000 headquarters.
“It’s a wonderful way to make people Cardinal supports youth living rough aware of those in need, and it’s an amazing experience to be part of the challenge again.”
This is the second time Challenge 2000 has been involved, after the inaugural event in 2014, and participants agreed that it’s an “eye-opening experience”.
“It was empowering to get alongside those who are under-privileged,” Chris, a young participant just out of high school, said.
“It’s quite sobering to think people live like this every day. We only did one night in our cardboard houses, and that was hard enough.”
There are four categories of challenges as part of the Caritas Challenge (Live It, Sweat It, Move It and Stop It) each of which is aimed at bringing participants closer to the living conditions
of those less fortunate.
The Wellington youth group took the Live It challenge and slept in cardboard boxes and the Sweat It challenge by working in shifts to make rosaries.
This year the focus is on the Philippines and funds raised will go towards Caritas’s work helping communities build back better following natural disasters that have caused widespread destruction in the country.