Rare Disorders Month is an advocacy and support period kicking off on Rare Disease Day - 28 February - and running through the month of March. The rare community needs your support to Glow up and Show up during this month.

It’s not rare to have a rare disorder. In Aotearoa, more than 300,000 people live with one of the more than 6,000 rare disorders - that’s the same as the population of a big city like 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 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. 

Guide for Schools this Rare Disorders Month.

How can your school or kura get involved?

See below for a list of ways your school can get involved in Rare Disorders Month. Each option includes a link to a detailed guide.

By organising any of these activities, or taking part via social media, you're giving hope to the rare disorder community within your school and showing that they matter and they deserve adequate treatment. You’re also teaching students about the importance of diversity and inclusion.

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 28, or sometime during Rare Disorders Month (March) that works for your school calendar. A great option to get all students involved from year 1-13.

View the Rare Disorders Month Glow Up clothing/accessory day guide here.

Temporary tattoos

We’d love to send you some of our temporary tattoos and see posts of you and those around you 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 during Rare Disorder Month where students can dress in bright or neon coloured clothes and accessories. Best for students year 1-8.

View the Rare Disorders Month School Disco guide here.

Colour Run

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

View the Rare DIsorder Month colour run guide here.

Morning tea

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

View the Rare Disorders Month morning tea guide here.

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 Rare Disorders Month 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 during Rare Disorders Month and give context and relevance to other activities during Rare Disorders Month your school is engaging in. Lesson plans are available for primary and intermediate aged students.

View the Rare Disorders Month lesson plans here.


To spread awareness to your school community, you could include information about Rare Disorders Month in your next newsletter.

You could incorporate quotes or stories from your students with rare disorders. Write your own, or use our newsletter template as a guide.

Social media posts

We would love it if you and your members can like, comment and share our posts on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter throughout the month.

To spread awareness to your school community, you can post about Rare Disorders Month on your social media accounts.

Feel free to use these social media tiles and captions or create your own.