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$3000 raised for Naenae toddler
A Petone school holiday programme has raised $3000 for a Naenae baby with CHARGE (coloboma, heart defect, atresia choanae) syndrome.
Fifteen-month-old Jireh Winiata's hearing has been badly affected by the syndrome as well as other parts of her body.
Kids on f.o.o.t (Faith of One Touch) programme director Lealofi Fuataga says it was up to the participating youngsters to find their own sponsors.
''It was about them being able to tell people about Jireh's story.''
They were sponsored to work through different activities that highlighted Jireh's needs - and also showed them what they take for granted.
Last Thursday the group performed a small concert for Jireh and her father, Paris Winiata, before presenting them with a cheque.
Kaden Enari, 9, won an award for raising the highest amount, $600.
Mrs Fuatage says Kids on f.o.o.t programmes aims to teach kids that they can make a difference.
''You can still have fun and put some good strong community messages through it.
''It's about them knowing that one action is helpful,'' she says.
They still go to the movies, play Xbox and other activities but also learn about their community.
Mr Winiata said he was blown away by the generosity of the kids and their sponsors. ''Sometimes I feel that 'thank you' isn't adequate enough''
The money will go towards $50,000 needed for a second cochlear implant for Jireh's hearing.
In previous school holidays Kids on f.o.o.t has completed units on refugees, being proud of your community, the Christchurch earthquake, the Red Cross and leukaemia.