At the end of June, two Year 8 students from Albany Junior High School, Maitreyi Jain and Hannah Waller, sent out an email to a number of organisations involved in Poverty and Food in Schools, asking them to assist their school in their chosen topic … “NZ charities – does NZ do enough for local poverty”.

Unbeknownst to me at the time, I was the only person to even reply to these girls.

Last Thursday, at 9.45am I went to Albany Junior High School where I met by both Matireyi and Hannah. Hannah came up to me … all 5 foot of her, and put out her hand and said “Are you Farrelly? … I am Hannah”.

I was taken on a guided tour of this school, a school of 1100 students. I must admit I was shocked to see the Herald article that Alexia had written displayed on class rooms. Obviously that article had impacted some children for sure. One class had gone out and collected 100s of cans of food to donate to the Salvation Army as a result.

These children also presented to me a number of their projects that they had completed, that were of an incredibly high standard. I knew something about this meeting was special when the Head Master sat down to listen and one of the students did a trumpet recital.

It was a very humbling experience for me, as two of the children stood and read out what they had written about me personally. Here is one of them:


Think… Think of all the families and children living below the poverty line.

Listen… Listen to their cries of hunger and sadness. Imagine… Imagine what you could do to help them. Believe… Believe you can help families over come poverty. If there’s a will… THERE IS A WAY!  Farrelly proved this… Farrelly made a difference to many schools, children and families all over New Zealand. This is how:

Farrelly is a modern day hero. He took a chance and made a difference. This all started at Randwick Park School on an ordinary school day. Farrelly visited Randwick Park School and discovered that many students had their families living below the poverty line. There was no money for food so each child went to school with an empty stomach. Farrelly changed this. He took a chance and made a difference.

Farrelly started up a breakfast club at Randwick Park School. At first there were only eight children who attended this. Over a few weeks the breakfast club became very popular. Some children called Farrelly Santa Claus, children don’t notice age and colour of a person when they are young. All they know is that Farrelly was helping them. 

Soon the breakfast club started to spread, it spread all over New Zealand to schools such as Elim School, Bayfield School and many more. This is all because of one man; Farrelly. He is the one who took a chance and made a difference.

In conclusion, Farrelly is THE modern day hero. Farrelly is the one who took a chance on Randwick Park School, and made a difference to New Zealand.

By Kim Mi Yeoh

Please I implore of you all … if a school pupil finds the strength to send you an email inviting you to their school … say Yes … it will change your life. Thank you Maitreyi Jain and Hannah Waller … and their teacher Vicky Crawford.


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