Laura Vicuna School in Bethlehem


Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand is excited today as they launch a new initiative for New Zealand Catholic schools.


For 15 years, the New Zealand Catholic Primary Principals Association (NZCPPA) and Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand partnered with Catholic schools across New Zealand to raise almost $300,000 to support small schools in need across the Pacific through an annual event known as Mufti Mania. In 2022, a new chapter begins and Mufti Mania has been re-branded as YCC Day. Watch and share the promotional video for YCC Day here.


Why YCC day? The letters remind us of the purpose:


You + Caritas Combined

Your Choice of Clothing

Young Catholics Care

Youth Creating Change


When thousands of young people gather together in solidarity for a good cause and have fun by wearing non-uniform for the small cost of a gold coin, lasting change can be brought to a school which may not enjoy the same privileges as ourselves.


While the name may have changed, the legacy will live on. Michael Stewart, who is part of the Caritas education team said that “Mufti Mania has always been an amazing event and I’ve been privileged to see the impact on young people, both here in New Zealand and overseas. Now is the right time for a change and we are super-excited to keep the legacy going with the new YCC Day! We know that Catholic schools will get involved as we have so many kind and generous young people across the country who are always willing to respond to the call for justice and love.” Read more about the Mufti Mania legacy here.


“This year’s YCC Day is for a great cause,” says Roger Ellis, Engagement Manager at Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand. “I’m hoping young people from all over Aotearoa will join in this work of justice to give a helping hand to Laura Vicuna School in Bethlehem. It’s a small school situated in the Holy Land. The school began in 1988 and is in dire need of support to fix and repair toilets, purchase new laptops and projectors as well as round tables for small group learning activities. Here in Aotearoa it is easy to take these things for granted. We’re very thankful for the generosity of students here in New Zealand,” he says.


YCC Day takes place in 2022 on Friday 8th July and funds received from this event will help support Laura Vicuna School in the Holy Land. Everyone is invited to join in




Thanks for your email and questions regarding the new YCC Day.  We appreciate your interest and have endeavoured to provide responses to the questions you raised.


Could I please ask why Laura Vicuna School in Bethlehem has been chosen?

Every year our (International Development) Programmes team, who is made aware of schools in need by our overseas partners, helps us to decide on the school we should support.

Laura Vicuna School is a worthy recipient of support as the students come from very poor families and most cannot afford and do not pay the minimal tuition fees.

Actually, the Sisters who run the school rely on donations and charity organisations to keep the school running.

Many students come from neighbouring refugee camps. Children of refugees sometimes suffer greatly – psychologically as well as physically.

In addition, the toilets at this school are unhygienic and badly in need of repair/maintenance and they have resource needs for teaching and learning too.

What distinguishes it from other similar needy schools perhaps closer to home, in the South Pacific for example, ones who may not even have toilets and clean water?

90% of the schools Caritas has supported over the years have been in the Pacific. There is a huge need throughout the Pacific of course and that is why most of the development work is focused there.

After highlighting Tonga, PNG, Fiji and Solomon Islands in recent years, the thought was to widen the awareness of NZ Catholic school students too and this took us to the Holy Land and Bethlehem. Which of course was a nice connection to starting a new initiative and also returning to the place where Christ was born.

Who runs the school?

Five Salesian sisters are involved in the running of the school.

Who owns the school?

Laura Vicuna School, as it is today, was a convent for the Salesian nuns known as the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians.  The School first opened its doors to students in October 1970 when it was decided by the Gozo Salesian nuns that part of the convent would be used as a school.  A class was added each year until 1978 when the school started offering classes from Kindergarten to Year 6.  Since then the Gozo Salesian community has been educating children from all over Gozo.  Over the years, students have pursued their studies to Secondary School level and beyond, so as to take their place in work, in the academic world and in society itself. The school ethos, in line with Don Bosco’s teachings, nurtures the holistic development of the person. This is deeply rooted in our Roman Catholic belief that each of us is loved by God and therefore worthy of respect. The sisters strive and commit themselves so that every child who attends the school enjoys the process of education and can benefit from this experience all throughout life.

How will the funds be distributed – who will receive them?

The funds will be sent to and be disbursed by Caritas Jerusalem – our sister agency in the Holy Land. It will receive the funds directly from us towards the end of the year (after schools have sent in their fundraising) and then they will pass it on to the school.


Source: Supplied – Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand

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