It’s not rare to have a rare disorder. In Aotearoa, more than 300,000 people live with one of the more than 7,000 rare disorders - that’s more than the population of Wellington. More than half of those affected are children. That’s the equivalent of 1-2 students in every classroom.

Glow up and Show up for Rare is a campaign that is all about shining a light on the urgent need for action to improve healthcare and wellbeing for people and their whānau living with a rare disorder and showing support for the rare disorder community.

With so many tamariki affected, we are reaching out to schools to help us drive awareness and raise funds to continue to advocate for them.

Nau mai, haere mai. Together we can bring rare disorders out of the darkness, and into the light. 

Get your school involved!

Encourage your local school to get involved so that rare tamariki feel supported and valued in their community. It is also a great way of teaching all students about the value of diversity and inclusion.

We have drafted a template letter to make it easy for you to ask your school or kura to get involved, which you can download here.

Ideas to #GlowUpShowUp at school

Below is a list of ways your school can get involved. By organising any of these activities you're giving hope to the rare disorder community within your school and showing that they matter.

We can’t wait to see how you #GlowUpShowUp!

Glow Up clothing/accessory day

Run a Glow Up clothing/accessory day on Rare Disease Day, Feb 29 2024, or sometime that works for your school calendar. A great option to get all students involved from year 1-13.

Speech competition

Hold a speech competition as a way for students to engage in self-directed learning to become knowledgeable and interested in learning about rare disorders, while encouraging the audience to do the same. Best for students year 8-13.

View the speech competition guide here.

Lesson plan

Teachers who are keen to weave this cause into the class can access these template lesson plans as a way to raise awareness and give context and relevance to other activities your school is engaging in for Rare Disorders NZ. Lesson plans are available for primary and intermediate aged students.

View the lesson plans here.

Temporary tattoos

We’d love to send you some of our temporary tattoos and see posts on social media of your school community raising your hands to #GlowUpShowUp for rare. This is a great, easy way to get involved, if time and resources are tight.

Order tattoos by emailing

School Disco

Host a disco where students can dress in bright or neon coloured clothes and accessories and bring a gold coin for Rare Disorders NZ. Best for students year 1-8.

Colour Run

Organise a colour run to help students glow up and show up for the rare disorder community. It’s also a fun outdoor activity. A great option to get all students involved year 1-13.

Morning tea

Organise a morning tea for students or staff as a simple way to raise money and awareness for Rare Disorders NZ.

If your school does organise any of these events, please keep us in the loop!

We'd love to see photos and give you a shout-out on social media! Contact