MIT graduates cook up lunch with a smile
Service with a smile was the order of the day in Otara last week.
Certificate of Social Services graduates from Manukau Institute of Technology put their learning into practice when they put on a free lunch for the students of Wymondley Road School.
The lunch coincided with a visit to the school from the Vodafone Warriors, who put their muscle to good use digging and building a vegetable garden.
"It's a good day for service," principal Pelu Leaupepetele says.
"For the kids to see members of the community give up their time to put on a lunch and to see their heroes put in a garden and serve them, that's something special."
Mr Leaupepetele says the garden, the installation of which was organised through the Glenn Family Foundation and the Diabetes Project Trust's scheme Gardens 4Health, will have benefits for the school and local residents.
"It will be open to the community and maintained by the community," he says.
"I like the idea that if Mum or Dad is cooking, they can send their kid down to get something for the garden."
MIT graduate Shane Kalim says his group put on the free lunch in an effort to "walk the talk" and give back to the local community.
"We'd like to inspire others to give back as well," he says.
"If a group of MIT students can muster up a free lunch for 200 kids, what's to stop other people doing the same?"
Mr Leaupepetele says the group's actions set a positive example for his students, who are also expected to be of service to the community.
"It goes both ways."