One Day School pupils help Vanuatuan villagers


Pupils at Central Otago’s gifted and talented programme have added altruism to their lessons, donating $1300 to a charity that helps villagers in Vanuatu.

The pupils at the programme, which is also known as the One Day School, last week handed over the money to It’s Not About Us founder Wayne Perkins.

Mr Perkins said he was overwhelmed by the donation, which would be enough to buy a pump to supply water to another community in Vanuatu.

“Now there will be more than 100 people who will not have to walk hours and kilometres every day to fetch water. This will let a very poor village have a much better life.”

Trustees of It’s Not About Us and other volunteers had now helped install water pumps in six villages in Vanuatu and pump installation was under way in another two villages, Mr Perkins said. A key part of the It’s Not About Us programme was teaching villagers to install and maintain the pumps themselves, so that provided additional empowerment, he said.

Mr Perkins praised the hard work and philosophy of the One Day School pupils, who had raised the money through several ventures.

The pupils made food and sold it at Clyde Primary School, where the One Day School is based; had a movie day at Clyde Primary School; took two lambs to Queenstown for a day and charged money for tourists to be photographed alongside the lambs; planned a waterslide at Terrace Primary School, which did not eventuate because of bad weather, but Terrace pupils still donated their money for the waterslide to It’s Not About Us; and held a waterslide at Clyde Primary School.

One Day School pupil William Stevens (11) said the One Day School pupils were thrilled the money they raised was helping underprivileged people in such a life-changing way.

“We enjoyed raising the money and really hope it helps the village people.”

The One Day School is a programme operated through Central Otago Reap for gifted and talented primary school pupils in years 5-8. Pupils attend their normal school four days a week and the One Day School one day a week. For more information, contact Central Otago Reap on (03) 448-6115.

For more information about It’s Not About Us, go to


Alexandra man Wayne Perkins’ “uncompromising stubbornness” has paved the way for a publication that not only communicates his thoughts but will also help improve the lives of villagers in Vanuatu.

Mr Perkins’ first book Simple Thoughts in a Complex World will be launched in Alexandra tonight and he said the book represented his efforts to be “funny, sometimes clever, sometimes meaningful, but above all honest”.

It is made up of 42 of his blogs, some of which were previously unpublished.

Mr Perkins said he had “long had an aspiration to be a writer”, and although not having any formal writing training, he decided “my uncompromising stubbornness might finally be put to good use and I would write a blog”.

He wrote of various topics on his blog, jumping “straight in” and deciding to “write about how I saw the world, and not copy how others wrote”.

Mr Perkins said the publication of blog posts into a book was partly a chance to pay his respects to his late father, and it would also help impoverished communities assisted by a charity founded by Mr Perkins, It’s Not About Us.

Part of the proceeds from each book sale will go to the organisation, which has done numerous charity missions to Vanuatu.

Simple Thoughts in a Complex World will be launched at Monteith’s in Alexandra tonight at 7pm.

For more information, go to To view Mr Perkins’ nomination for TVNZ’s “Good Sorts” initiative, go to

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