WelCom News
A newspaper for the Wellington and Palmerston North Catholic Dioceses

Challenge 2000 family celebrates 30th birthday, October 2018

WelCom October 2018:

Annette Scullion

Challenge 2000 was founded in Wellington in 1988 by Kitty McKinley. It began with a little office with three ‘employees’. Kitty’s philosophy is that ‘love works’ sooner or later. So, with a lot of love, enthusiasm for young people, the support of a generous community and professionalism, Challenge 2000 was born.

‘Our team has grown significantly over the years as we have evolved and responded to the needs of our community’, says Kitty.

During Labour Weekend, from 19 to 21 October, Challenge 2000 is celebrating its 30th birthday at St Patrick’s College, Kilbirnie, the Embassy Theatre and at the Marist Challenge Centre in Johnsonville.

‘Over this birthday weekend, we wish to celebrate the successes of the past, honour the commitment to the present and to be courageous and inspired enough to embrace the challenge and dreams for the future,’ Kitty said.

Challenge 2000 has grown to become a professional, innovative, responsive, dynamic and passionate Youth Development, Community and Family Social Work Agency. ‘We work mainly throughout the Wellington region, providing a wide range of services and programmes to children, young people, families and community groups. We also provide these programmes and project work throughout Aotearoa New Zealand. We have a large team of amazing people, with full-time staff and over five hundred volunteers. Our whānau are from all walks of life and want to make a difference and build a positive, accepting community and country.’

The level of community support over the 30 years has been phenomenal from all throughout the Archdiocese, Kitty says. ‘Lots of people who have supported us are coming from all over the country to celebrate at Labour weekend.’

Challenge 2000 whānau on the steps of the Marist Challenge Centre in Johnsonville. Photo: Annette Scullion

“It’s a vibrant place to work where you feel you belong, received and loved.” – Gabe

“We are family.” – Tina

“It’s a place where I can be myself.” – Oke

“Challenge to me is a place of connection and a place to be nurtured and to grow.” – Mapihi

“Challenge is like a melting pot of different people coming together with similar values and supporting each other on our journey, but collectively as a community.” – Fiona

“Challenge sums up love, compassion, and support.” – Aiga

“For me, it’s a place where the Gospel is lived all the time, with and without words.” – Jude

“We are whānau that supports all our young people, especially those who are alienated and disadvantaged. We live by Gospel values and we quest social justice.” – Steve

“To me Challenge is the Gospel in action as St Francis of Assisi preached.” – Anh Dao

“An extraordinarily talented and generous family who make a real difference though their love.” – Damian

“Challenge brings a sense of belonging – the staff, rangatahi, community and whānau.” – Kerry

“Challenge allows me to live out my Catholic faith, it’s vocational because you can live out your faith here and this is immensely satisfying.” – John

“It’s home.” – Te Pō

“A ray of hope and light for all.” – Gav

“A place of hope, justice and love where I can live my call in life to bring about the Gospel in today’s world.” – Kitty

See: Challenge 2000 Odyssey Programme story