Our Story

SVA (Student Volunteer Army) is a charity empowering the next generation of volunteers. We facilitate meaningful volunteering opportunities for primary, secondary and tertiary aged young people, and mobilise a network of volunteers of all ages to respond to crises when Aotearoa needs our help.

SVA Annual Report

SVA Annual Report 2020

In 2020, the Student Volunteer Army has seen many successes. We put together a grocery service in response to COVID-19 and saw 1000s of volunteers help those in need more than themselves. In addition, the SVA has had another great year with our primary, secondary, and tertiary level initiatives.

If you would like to see last years report, click on the link below:
2019 Annual Report

The Quick History!

Christchurch was struck with a 7.1 magnitude earthquake on the 4th of September 2010.

In response to this natural disaster, University of Canterbury student, Sam Johnson, created a Facebook group called the ‘Student Base for Earthquake Clean Up’ to assist local residents with non life-saving tasks. 

Sam and leaders of several UC clubs joined and together formed the ‘Student Volunteer Army’ as a collective movement of 11,000 people to help clean up the city.

University Students

Student Volunteer Army was formed as a charitable trust which has been continually led by a student executive and guided by a board of trustees. 

Each year students organise over 50 local projects that engage 3000 students at the University of Canterbury.

Primary School Students

In 2017 following a request by primary schools across New Zealand, The SVA launched a nationwide ‘SVA Kids’ programme to extend the SVA spirit to primary school classrooms. 

In classes, each year 32,000 students identify a local project, build a team, develop a plan, operate their project, and report on what they have achieved. 

The programme teaches cooperation and leadership skills to young kiwis to become lifelong volunteers!

SVA Service Award
Secondary Schools

The SVA Service Award was launched to recognise the volunteer efforts of secondary school students. 

Operating in most major public, private and special schools in New Zealand, the SVA Service Award is a five level badge based system that records and tracks student volunteering against the Sustainable Development Goals. 

Students download a SVA Summary of Service – a CV of their volunteering – to help with jobs or uni or hall applications!