Overcoming adversity


Many of the children in the city today cannot remember a world before the earthquakes. The presenters in this TVNZ documentary ask how this has affected their wellbeing by visiting South New Brighton School in the heart of the most affected suburbs.

As someone who has visited this school, and knows the principal and some staff, I found this a very poignant and informing piece – so am sharing it here to inform and inspire others. It reveals..

  • the resiliance of the young people – but also their fragility.
  • the importance of schools as a focus of community, and a place where there needs to be opportunity to attend to the things that are important in the lives of the children and their families – in addition to the focus on learning.
  • the enormous responsibility placed on the shoulders of school leaders to cope with all of this – on top of them having their own families, homes and personal health to consider.
  • the restorative effect of a team of dedicated teachers committed to meeting the needs of learners – supported by other professionals with complementary skills. 

It will be some years before the 'new' Christchurch is fully established, and in the meantime I pay full credit to the dozens of school leaders, staff and their communities who are working constructively and collaboratively to provide the sorts of support and opportunities portrayed in this clip. 


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