Gore High School pupil Max Balloch took the chance to help some young people not as fortunate as himself on a recent trip to Vietnam.
The 16-year-old spent 11 days sightseeing in the nation with his family during the school holidays.
Max said while his family were planning the trip, he had the idea it would be good to help young people in the nation.
“We may as well try and make some sort of a difference over there,” Max said.
He did some research on the internet and found a charity Blue Dragon, that worked to help at-risk young people.
“They pretty much save kids from anywhere in Vietnam and help them have an education and live.”
From there he approached deputy principal Mel Hamilton and teacher Lou Dickson with the idea of having a mufti day to raise money to buy school supplies for the children Blue Dragon supports.
The teachers agreed the idea was a good one.
“We then held the mufti day, raising $530 in total.”
Once in Hanoi he met Blue Dragon worker Bou who helped him buy what the young people needed.
The experience had been “a reality check” for him, he said.
“It was humbling to recognise how lucky we are.”
A person could not choose where they were born.
“We just happen to be right now in New Zealand pretty problem-free, I would say, in the grand scheme of things.”
He had learned not to take what he had for granted.
“If you’re having trouble, there’s probably somebody out there whose having a harder time than you.”
While the people did not enjoy the same living conditions as he did, their attitude impressed him.
“They have more problems than us in some ways but they just seem happier.”
He would definitely do something like that again “in a heartbeat”.