A pilot project for the establishment of an ‘army’ of Dunedin student volunteers got underway this week, as Automotive Engineering students from Otago Polytechnic serviced a fleet of community vehicles free of charge.
Scarfie Army is an Otago Polytechnic initiative developed in conjunction with Social Innovation co- founder, Louis Brown, who mentored Sam Johnson as he created Canterbury’s Student Volunteer Army. The Scarfie Army concept draws inspiration from the remarkable success of its Canterbury counterpart.
“Our vision is that student volunteering becomes as much part of the Dunedin scarfie culture as pulling an all-nighter in the computer lab or having a red card at your flat,” Louis says. “We want to foster a sense of community-mindedness that will see students perform feats of generosity for people, animals or ecosystems in need.”
As part of the pilot project for the Scarfie Army, vehicles belonging to the Cancer Society, the Child Cancer Foundation, Canteen, and clients of the Dunedin Methodist Mission, were given a full complementary service on Tuesday 16 October. Twenty automotive engineering students will carry out the work under the supervision of staff, and Appco Auto Parts in Dunedin has generously donated the oil and filters for the servicing.
The second part of the pilot project will be a coastal clean-up on Tuesday 30 October, to be undertaken by students of the Polytechnic’s Otago Institute of Sport and Adventure.
Once the pilot is complete, it will be evaluated with a view to officially launching the Scarfie Army in 2013.