Otago Polytechnic students will soon be able to add
volunteering to their CVs after the polytechnic approved
funding for the Scarfie Army in 2013.
The Scarfie Army was launched last year and based on the
student army which helped out in Christchurch after the
earthquakes in 2010 and 2011.
Otago Polytechnic health and safety manager and project
sponsor Terry Buckingham said the funding would make it
possible to put about 400 students and staff into volunteer
projects as well as hire someone full-time to co-ordinate the
Students would also be able to get a printout of their
volunteering record to go alongside their academic record, he
One of the goals was to get polytechnic students out
volunteering in the wider Dunedin community, Mr Buckingham
''We had some really good feedback from groups about the
projects we did last year.
''This year, we need to make sure we work in with the
community wants,'' he said.
Last year, automotive engineering students serviced vehicles
for Dunedin community organisations free of charge and
students also took part in a clean-up of the Otago Harbour
Mr Buckingham said he hoped the volunteer army would be up
and running by about April, once the co-ordinator position
had been filled.
Many students who were engaged in their home communities lost
those connections when they came to Dunedin to study, he
One of the aims of the project was to provide an opportunity
to those students who wanted to be part of and help the wider
Mr Buckingham said Otago Polytechnic director of
communications Mike Waddell said the polytechnic saw the
project as a way for students to make a social contribution
One of the polytechnic's aims was to prepare citizens for the
world, and giving them the opportunity to help in the
community was part of that, Mr Waddell said.
- by Tim Miller