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Zeal whānau comes together for Pink Shirt Day 2019

On Friday 17th May, Zeal young people from all over the country came together to recognise Pink Shirt Day – an international celebration of diversity and positive social relationships to combat bullying.

Here in Aotearoa, we have one of the worst rates of in-school bullying worldwide. A recent New Zealand study found that 94% of teachers reported bullying happens in their schools, and a staggering one in two young people in New Zealand experience bullying at least once a month.
“The students thought it was a great cause to support,” says Janelle, the Programmes Coordinator at Zeal West. “As young people themselves they see bullying often, so they wanted to do their bit to show support. So many young people experience bullying – by starting the conversation within their Gateway classes and with their peers at the event, they could show strength in numbers and stand up to bullying.”
In West Auckland, students from our Gateway classes (Event Management, Sound, Health Promotion, and Art Design) organised a Pink Shirt Day event that took place during afternoon hangs. Over 50 rangatahi came through to support the cause and see some local musicians take the stage.
Just down the road in Hamilton, young people wrote positive notes (“people do care – speak up, find them”) on pink balloons and left them around the city. 

Further down the road in Kāpiti, our crew set up at Ōtaki College for the afternoon. 
“We had massive lines for our baking stall and BBQ,” said Devon, Zeal Kāpiti’s Event Manager. “Our sound system was set up cranking out the beats, and we did a lot of youth work in terms of connection. We had a game of handball, which was real high energy but friendly competition between the students.”