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Kāpiti young people come together at vigil for Christchurch

The day after the tragedy in Christchurch, with events in Kāpiti and across the country shut down, young people began to stand up.  I received a phone call from one of our volunteers asking if Zeal would host a vigil here in Kāpiti for young people.  The answer of course was yes, and a couple of local young women began to put the event together.  

As soon as the event was advertised on Facebook, numbers jumped rapidly as the community expressed their interest and need for a community gathering.
Ella and Annie, students from two local colleges, developed the vigil event alongside Zeal over the week, and we moved the location to a local school field to allow for the large audience.
Speakers included Council Kaumātua Rakauoteora Te Maipi (Koro Don) and Whaia June who opened the event, our Mayor and the Chairwoman of our Multicultural Council.  Alongside their moving speeches, local musicians performed as few songs as flowers were layed and letters of condolence written for the families.  

With support from Zeal, local Police, the Community Patrols and the Kāpiti Coast District Council, the event was a great community partnership moment but also gave voice to young people and enabled them to create something special.  With over 600 in attendance, the Vigil was a special event for the community, and something we at Zeal are proud to have been a part of.

Zeal volunteers ran the sound and stage for the event, as well as helping with setting up chairs and the marquees around the space.

Ella Kirby, a 17 year old from Paraparaumu College said: “The Vigil was an opportunity for Kāpiti to come together and show our support for Christchurch, unifying under love and not hate or discrimination.  To be a part of supporting such a vision was an amazing opportunity to help create a space for people within Kāpiti to express themselves and show the beautiful power of community, coming together driven by a common cause.”

“Zeal was incredible in supporting this event to happen, generous in their time and resources, bringing the event’s vision to life.  Helping to not only create the space, provide the atmosphere through sound, but also just being willing to help out wherever help was needed.”