Challenge 2000 – growing young potential

Published on 4th May, 2023
Interns Mitch Cheu (back left) and Kasileta Seko (front right) helping rangatahi. Photo: Supplied

WelCom May 2023

Challenge 2000 is a Catholic, Gospel-based professional and dynamic youth development, community and family social work agency. The Challenge whānau of over 40 staff work mainly throughout the Wellington region, providing services and programmes to children, young people, families and community groups.

Each year Challenge takes on a group of interns within its Challenge Marist Gap Year programme to help them gain first-hand experience and grow as individuals wanting to make a difference walking the steps of Christ. Here are two current interns’ stories two months into this year’s programme.

“I first learnt about Challenge 2000 from my aunty Sophia who is a member of the St Francis of Assisi parish. I was living in Sydney and at uni there but thought I needed to be clearer about my career choices and get some real-life skills. So after a family chat I was on a plane to Wellington, questioning how and why my life was about to change so fast as I began my internship on the Challenge Marist Gap Year. These past two months I’ve worked with more children and young people than a 19-year-old could imagine.

I’ve been tutoring maths and English to young people who school doesn’t suit, given guitar lessons and I’ve taught children about their Christian faith on a sacramental programme. I’ve enhanced my music skills and worked with other young people on Tuesday Liturgies for St Brigid’s School and the Holy Thursday Mass and Anzac service. 

As part of the intern programme we also learn a lot about Aotearoa New Zealand, bi-culturalism, personal development and community building. A highlight for me was a visit to Pukekaraka in Ōtaki where we learnt a great deal about Te Ao Māori, the whenua and the history of the Catholic Church in that area. 

So far it has been an eye-opening experience and, although I miss my friends and family in Sydney, I feel I have grown as a person exponentially in the past two months.”

– Mitch Cheu

“Talofa lava. I’m originally from the beautiful island of Samoa and arrived with my family to live in Marton when I was six. I attended St Peter’s College in Palmerston North where I was a Special Chapter Prefect, finishing up there last year. Some Church leaders there suggested I apply for the Challenge Marist internship project and so I shifted to Wellington in February and live in a Challenge Youth House now.

So far there have been many different opportunities offered me. I help at the Challenge foodbank getting parcels ready for families, work at St Brigid’s School one day a week as I am thinking about teaching as a career, do different youth ministry activities, am beginning NZQA Youth work papers, sitting my restricted licence, doing after-school programmes, care for children and just do anything to help and serve that comes my way. All these opportunities are preparing me for the many challenges that will come my way in the future.” 

–  Kasileta Seko

To find out more or to get involved contact Challenge 2000 at: or email: [email protected] or ph (04) 477-6827.

The post Challenge 2000 – growing young potential first appeared on Archdiocese of Wellington.

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