An innovative scheme targeting our youngest New Zealanders will help secure the future of volunteering in New Zealand says Community and Voluntary Sector Minister Alfred Ngaro.

Student Volunteer Army (SVA) founder Sam Johnson has today launched a new programme targeting primary school student and already has 32,000 young people signed up.

“We know that people are more likely to continue volunteering the earlier they start so this great initiative will go a long way in helping to secure the volunteer sector in New Zealand in the future,” says Mr Ngaro.

“Kiwis already have a reputation of being one of the most generous countries in the world in terms of charitable giving, how fantastic would it be if we also had a reputation for having one of the highest rates of volunteering.

“Already volunteers contribute about $3.5 billion to our economy in labour alone, adding students to the mix can only increase that impact.”

In 2016 the SVA was one of the inaugural recipients of the Government’s Community Leadership fund when it received a $50,000 grant for the development of its primary programme.

“It’s fantastic to see that our youngest New Zealanders were asking for this programme and I can’t wait to see the difference they make in communities right across the country.”