INDEPENDENT NEWS

Student Volunteer Army - Update 1 March 2011

Published: Tue 1 Mar 2011 09:31 PM
Daily update – 1 March
Student Volunteer Army (SVA) marked two minutes silence – remembering the victims of the Christchurch Earthquake.
Today a Battalion of more the 1100 volunteers in 20 buses travelled to Burwood and Shirley where they continued in there mission to clear tonnes of silt from properties and the streets.
SVA field team leader, Sam Johnson says they called everyone together for two minutes of silent commemoration. “It was a really moving experience to have hundreds of people gathered in one place to remember the victims of the earthquake. I spoke to the troops about the importance of remembering why we are doing what we are doing – to help people in their hour of need. Following the silence we thanked everyone who has donated to the cause ...... a big cheer went up for them! Following that we walked around the neighbourhood handing out lunch packs to residents.”
In the second part of our work more than 200 Squadrons made up of three to five people, who have their own transport and equipment, were assigned jobs across the city. SVA IT head Jonas Bergier, says “to date 2329 jobs have been registered and we’ve completed 865 as at 4pm this afternoon. The jobs are registered on SVA website, www.sva.org.nz, and we have a pool of over 1200 registered volunteers who are working specifically on these jobs.”
The third operation, Street Team, provides face-to-face information to eastern suburb residents who are still without services and have almost no communication with the outside world. SVA head quarter’s team leader, Louis Brown, says “over the past three days we have delivered 170,000 (that’s almost half the city’s population) fliers. Tomorrow we’ll be delivering a new flyer to Aranui, Sumner and St Martins’ residents.
“The great news is the amount of silt in the suburbs is dissipating thanks to the efforts of the Army. Tomorrow we’ll divert half of the Battalion to Squadron work in a bid to complete as many online registered calls for help as possible. It’s great to see we are making significant progress,” he said.
Volunteers wanting to take part in the Army do not have to be students, but do need to have some identification. Daily muster for the Student Volunteer Army is at the UCSA car park, 90 Ilam Road with buses leaving between 9 and 10am. The ‘big top’ marquee that has been erected is a home away from home for volunteers. People of all ages and abilities, including those unable to wield a shovel, will be welcomed with open arms.
Louis Brown says to date the people of New Zealand have been extremely generous - “We no longer require baked goods instead we’d appreciate it if those baking cakes and biscuits could instead hold cake stalls in their local communities and give the proceeds to one of the many charities raising funds to rebuild Christchurch.”
ENDS

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