Eating once a day, if you are lucky, being forced into
marriage before you reach your teens and being orphaned as
disease wipes out your parents - it's a life New Zealand
children struggle to fathom.
Otago school pupils are being given a taste of life in Third
World countries this week, as part of Purple Cake Day (March
The charity event supports underprivileged children to get
the education they need to break the poverty cycle and create
a better future for themselves, their families and their
It is connecting New Zealand children with children around
the world living in poverty, and helping them learn about
their role in the global community, and enrich their sense of
compassion, respect and leadership.
Purple Cake Day was founded by Emily Sanson-Rejouis, who lost
her husband and two daughters in the Haiti earthquake in
She hopes to raise $100,000 this year, to sustain support for
education projects in Haiti and Nepal, and extend this to
Kenya through a new partnership with the Hilde Back Education
Pupils from Dunedin to Alexandra, as well as the University
of Otago College of Education, are getting into the spirit of
Purple Cake Day by ''purple-ising'' parts of their buildings.
Kaikorai Primary School pupils will run a carnival/enterprise
day this Friday, where they will raise funds by selling
things they have made.
The Haitian words ''kenbe la'', which mean ''never give up'',
had become part of the Haitian school culture since the
earthquake in 2010, and the phrase was synonymous with the
philosophy of Kaikorai School, which emphasises grit,
determination and self-esteem.
Dunstan High School teacher Heather Taylor said her year 9
pupils had been baking and selling decorated cakes, making
and evaluating a Kenyan meal, and creating a profile of a
''The girls in class were horrified at the idea of child
marriages, shaking their heads in disbelief.''
This Friday, year 9 pupils would be selling an assortment of
mini cakes with purple icing, she said.
''I hope they will learn that what they do, even the little
things, can make a difference. And I hope that they will
realise that the world outside Alexandra is very different.''