Students offer personal insights

ROSA STUDHOLME
Last updated 05:00 22/11/2012
Charlotte O’Brien
NATASHA MARTIN/Fairfax NZ
GLOBAL THINKING: Sacred Heart Primary School students, from left, Charlotte O’Brien, 11, Kiera Kennedy, 12, Benjamin Ritchie, 11, Carl Webber, 10, and Thomas Kissell, 11, discuss a global survey in which they were asked about issues facing the world.

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About 20 Timaru school children have participated in a global survey monitoring the hopes, dreams and fears of the world's young people.

The students from Sacred Heart Primary School put their thoughts on paper as part of the Small Voices, Big Dreams survey run by ChildFund.

There were 720 New Zealand children aged 10 to 12 who took part. The survey canvassed the views of 6200 children across 47 developed and developing countries.

Teacher Katie Fleury said a contact had sent her the survey, which she put on the school's intranet, inviting any students who wanted to participate.

About 20 put their hands up.

"It provides them a lot of opportunity to [see how children think] outside of New Zealand," Mrs Fleury said.

The survey was made up of 15 questions, including how they would improve the lives of children in their community if they were the leader, what they were most afraid of, and how they would change the environment in their community.

Thomas Kissell, a year 7 student at the school, said he had been "drawn into it" by the survey title.

One change he would make as prime minister would be to make it illegal to have open fires and gas burners without proper ventilation to reduce carbon monoxide in homes.

"I also wouldn't sell New Zealand, like all our assets, and just keep it as New Zealand-owned.

"I'd have it so everybody had X amount of money. If you had more . . . you'd have to give it away to charity or something."

Year 6 student Carl Webber said he would "make things fair" if he were prime minister, and year 6 student Charlotte O'Brien said she would "get rid of poverty".

"I'd probably raise some money . . . or get lots of people to donate food or something."

Free health care for everyone who needed it would also be a priority, she said.

Benjamin Ritchie, a year 6 student, would "probably stop sending so many troops over to Afghanistan".

He was also concerned about global warming. "The Antarctic will melt and the penguins will die." Thomas said it would cause massive floods, king tides and massive tsunamis all over the world".

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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