From the desk of Chloe Wright
Kia ora, Talofa lava, Greetings to all languages of the land
The human spirit has such a great capacity to shine in the darkest of times. I have been pondering what resilience means in the face of hardship. Where does resilience come from? Who is most likely to have it and what is the difference these people make in the lives of others.
These people are the change makers; they see the glass half full. They circumvent obstacles, jump the barriers, they share their hard-earned accomplishments with others. Research shows us resilience and self-determination begin in the first 2,000 days.
As we move into a new era of understanding with the marriage of technology and social cohesion, I would like to acknowledge some of those who have ‘dug in’ to create better lives, better possibilities, for others. They have enriched my world and many of yours. They are the I Have a Dream people among us.
What I love about Nick Loosely’s, Everybody Eats venture, it is as much about feeding the hungry as it is about people connecting across the milieu of humanity. Where rescued food is turned into delicious meals, where volunteers give their time, where bodies and souls are nourished, and strangers are strangers no more. Nick’s determination to feed the hungry, connect the lonely, found new pathways in the time we all felt the pain of separation. I am so proud to know him.
Write Mark, is a Wellington based social enterprise firm, driven by a woman who was determined to make a difference by bringing Plain Language to legal, medical, technical, educational documents and forms. Can we imagine how many lives have been negatively impacted by not being able to understand, too embarrassed to ask for help, and so have missed out on the help and support they had a right to. The majority of applications now rely on a person’s digital nous, eliminating the contact of person to person where probing questions may be asked. When the language of documentation is difficult to navigate there may be nowhere to go. People suffer loss. Now this firm is winning International Awards and creating Policy change. I am so proud to know her.
To the women and men who bring the love of reading and writing to our rangatahi and tamariki outside of the classroom. To those who bring music and the arts, who motivate and inspire a love of creating and learning, who give freely of their time and resources; I am proud to know them.
To those who share their knowledge and resources to our future generation of sailors, to budding sports people, I am proud to know them.
The House of Science has grown over the last 10 years to encompass 65 schools, with a reach of over 160,000 students and 20 branches throughout NZ. It brings science to our students and their teachers in a way that inspires, motivates, and mirrors the way forward on the pathway to the technological future we envision. We are proud to be part of this.
To Dr Patricia Champion who founded the Champion Foundation. She has for over 40 years brought relief and understanding to parents who have faced the difficulties of premature birth and childhood disabilities. Dr Dorothy Lowe who is conducting research into learning capabilities of children born with fetal alcohol syndrome disorder, drug addiction. To the Auckland and Otago University researchers who are making ground-breaking advances on understanding the neurodevelopment of the fetus. Those who are researching the ageing brain. We are on the cusp of great discoveries. I am grateful for their sharing, and proud to know them.
None of these people said “I tried” then quit. They have resilience and perseverance, getting to know them has given me the greatest insight as to what is possible when the human spirit reaches for the stars.
There are many people, in these financially hard times, who want to contribute to a cause. We sometimes have people contact us wishing to donate to our work. This is not what we are looking for. The organisations we support are established, solid, and we would not hesitate to say; if you would like to show your support then these are some we could recommend. Directly to them, with no funds going to us. Just saying.
And now as we head into ‘a brave new world’ of technology tethered to social cohesion we are turning our gaze to the beginning of life; pre-conception, the growth of the unborn, birth, 4th trimester, and over time reaching out to the aged. All stages of life connect. All generations play a part in the glue that holds society together. This is our mahi on the back of the launch of The Village. Stage by stage, through the digital and social, our aim is to inform and bring people together. ‘The Village’ is all of us. Ethnicities combine, cultures enrich, we face a world full of possibilities.
“It is not more bigness that should be our goal. We must attempt, rather, to bring people back to the warmth of community, to the worth of individual effort and responsibility, and of individuals working together as a community, to better their lives and their children’s future.” – Robert F. Kennedy
Arohanui, Manuia, Loloma Levu
THE VILLAGE NZ IS LIVE!!
We are now full steam ahead with the
Village platform going LIVE. The team has been connecting and engaging with members as they slowly and surely build up member numbers as well as the platform's content.
Educational videos made especially for The Village by our special team are being introduced to the platform with the aim of building solid foundations for the community, across the generations, to connect and engage with.
Through our platform we are looking at different ways to engage, building online and on the ground relationships by having conversations with service providers, organisations and learned individuals to see how The Village can facilitate
and encourage connections between them and our members.
"A PLACE TO CONNECT, EMPOWER AND SUPPORT ALL GENERATIONS!"
At The Village, we recognise the critical role of community in promoting social well-being and psychological health. Research shows that lack of community and social support can take a toll on mental health and overall well-being, leading to decreased engagement and participation. That is why we believe in the power of genuine intergenerational relationships and providing meaningful resources and support. We're dedicated to creating a place where people effortlessly connect with each other. We believe that every parent deserves the support they need to raise healthy and happy children. By creating an accessible and empowering community, we hope to make this a reality for New Zealanders everywhere.
Join THE VILLAGE
|Update from Ollie Wright, our Music and Arts Director
Hey there! It is a short update from me but man, is it a GOODY!
Smokefree Rockquest 2023 are currently in the later stage of their regional finals and word on the ground is, the events are closely contested and blowing the crowd away.
In saying that, the Bay of Plenty regional finals was held on Friday, 26th of June inside the Mauao Performing Arts Centre on Totara Street and the atmosphere was electric and all the performers did an amazing job!
Pictured are winners of the BOP Band Category - Natural Spin from Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Ruamata. 🤘
Judging by the calibre of the performances shown in the regional finals around New Zealand, the National Final on the 16th of September is going to absolutely captivate the audience.
To add a bit of background about Smokefreerockquest - It is New Zealand's nationwide, live, original music, youth event giving young musicians the opportunity to perform live in a professional setting, in venues throughout the motu. It aims to motivate young musicians to strive for success, to realise the opportunities available in music careers, and to encourage their peers to support original New Zealand Music. HOW AWESOME!
Click on this link to find out more about these fantastic events - SMOKEFREEROCKQUEST.
FINALS of Kids' Lit Quiz NZ
The New Zealand Final of the Kids’ Lit Quiz was held in Wellington at the National Library, Te Puna Mataruanga o Aotearoa, on Saturday 17 June.
It was won by Waimea Intermediate who answered the first question about the author Gary Paulsen and held on to their lead from that moment. The team of four had all-round literary knowledge about archetypes, characters, book titles and monsters in fiction to end up winning by eight points from Marian Catholic School (Waikato) and Karori Normal School (Wellington).
Waimea Intermediate (pictured) will now represent New Zealand at the World Final in Havelock North on 22 July.
In reading for pleasure, the focus is on students selecting their own reading material with the positive outcomes being wider vocabularies and greater content knowledge. Other non-literary benefits such as increased empathy and overall well-being have also been reported in the most recent research.
The Kids’ Lit Quiz is worldwide with teams from USA, South Africa, Thailand, Indonesia, and Australia participating in the World Final this year. Entry is free and the doors open from 6:30-9:15pm at Havelock North Intermediate School.
You can find more information about the Kids' Lit Quiz here and on their Facebook page.
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas Edison
If you haven't heard about Everybody Eats yet, you have been missing out. It is based on a fantastic dining concept of every diner paying what-they-feel for a delicious chef-prepared meal and using perfectly good food that would otherwise have gone to waste. Their mission is to reduce food wastage, food poverty and social isolation in New Zealand.
They have two permanent restaurants, one in Onehunga, Auckland and the other in Wellington. They're open 4 to 5 nights a week offering a three course, pay-as-you-feel set menu, which changes daily and will always have a vegetarian/vegan option. Some of their recent courses have been a starter of roast carrots w/ lemongrass black garlic & dukkah, mains of fettuccine bolognese w/ rosemary crumb (or) fettuccine w/ basil pesto & roasted artichokes and dessert was pineapple fritters w/ lychee, apple & brown butter. DELISH!!
This amazing initiative has been achieved and continues to thrive because their pay-as-you-feel meals are cooked and served almost entirely by volunteers and while some of their customers do pay, they wouldn't be able to feed the huge numbers they do without receiving donations from generous businesses and individuals as well.
Since starting in 2017, Everybody Eats has rescued over 60 tonnes of food from going to landfill, by turning it into over 80,000 3-course meals (like the one in the photo) for hungry Kiwis.
You'll find more information about Everybody Eats here.
|"Supporting others doesn't require grand gestures. Sometimes, it's the small acts of kindness that make the biggest difference in someone's life." - Unknown
Parenting Place - Building Awesome Whānau
Parenting Place has been a part of Aotearoa's landscape for many years and have a plethora of resources (free and paid) available to help parents on their journey of parenthood.
Building Awesome Whānau is one of their fantastic courses. It draws on the wisdom of Māori kaupapa (values) which is uniquely Aotearoa and is packed full of great ideas and positive stories from parents still on the journey with their own tamariki (children). The course is for whānau of all diverse cultures in NZ with children from 0-12 years. It runs for a total of eight weeks with six different sessions of topics, covering things like 'Laying the foundations - building your family on aroha', 'The walls of the whare - boundaries to keep the good stuff in and the bad stuff out' and 'Cool kōrero - communication'.
Each individually trained course facilitator draws on the wealth of wisdom and experience within the group, ensuring the course is relevant and the members feel supported and encouraged as they lay the foundations for building their own awesome whānau.
The Wright Family Foundation is proud to support the expansion of this fantastic Building Awesome Whānau course into the Lower North Island region. We look forward to seeing its success with parents and their families as they progress through the course.
You can find more information about Parenting Place and its courses and resources here
SuperGrans Aotearoa Inc
Our own Chloe Wright is the patron for SuperGrans and if that isn't a recommendation in itself, after reading about the incredible work SuperGrans does around the country, it is easy to become a lifelong admirer.
SuperGrans is a not-for-profit organisation that match older people who have brought up families (SuperGrans) with people who need support. This voluntary role is to support individuals and whanau who may lack the resources and ability to sustain a good, healthy life. This includes teaching important life skills like cooking, planning meals, sewing, cleaning, gardening, and much more. There are 10 branches throughout New Zealand, each branch supporting people within their region.
SuperGrans use mature volunteers (mentors) matched closely to their client’s needs, with the client's progress and outcomes monitored. The mentors benefit enormously from sharing their experiences with younger people who are keen to learn, as it is often provides a purpose in life that they didn’t have before. They also run group workshops, (some in collaboration with other organisations) which increases social connections for both clients and mentors. While the majority of courses are run for free (for those in need), some are fee payable ensuring the continuity of SuperGrans providing other workshops for free.
In Gisborne, SuperGrans were instrumental first responders to ensure food and household items were supplied to the emergency shelters set up by Civil Defence for whānau who had to evacuate during the cyclone. Recently, they were presented with a substantial cheque from a fundraising event held in Tokyo, to go towards continuing to support those affected by the after-effects of Cyclone Gabrielle at grass roots level.
Pictured above are representatives from SuperGrans Gisborne as well as other contributors to the Japan Fundraiser for the Gisborne Floods.
Meanwhile SuperGrans Dunedin are gearing up for the school holidays with fun activities planned, like the one pictured. They also offer regular weekly classes like night shelter cooking, knit & natter, bake like a gran and crafty pop each term and they can be booked by contacting them through their website.
Find out more information about SuperGrans Aotearoa Inc and the fantastic mahi they do here.
|"The brain is a muscle that can move the world." - Stephen King
Warriors Community Foundation - Tupu Māia
Tupu Māia was created by the Warriors Community Foundation as a health and wellbeing programme specifically aimed for intermediate aged wahine.
With Tupu meaning to grow/foster and Māia meaning confidence, bravery, boldness, it is an initiative that focuses on a wahine toa's enjoyment of sport, their overall wellbeing as well as keeping them physically and mentally active with their peers.
By creating a positive environment for young women using the Māori model of Health, Te Whare Tapa Whā, the programme aims to increase participation and confidence in girls playing sport aged 11-12 years of age and make sure there is always a “fun” element!
Recently, the Tupu Māia programme for term 2 culminated in a festival day of fun activities for over 180 wāhine from six schools at the Go Media Stadium Mt Smart. It was the last event after having five in school sessions throughout the term. You can watch the cool video here.
To find out more about Tupu Māia and other fantastic initiatives by The Warriors Community Foundation, click here.
Young Ocean Explorers
Since 2012, Young Ocean Explorers have been on a mission to inspire kids to love the ocean, through entertaining education. Steve Hathaway, an experienced underwater cameraman and his daughter Riley aim to capture children’s imaginations through great storytelling, bringing the beauty, awe and fascination of the ocean and its inhabitants alive.🦈
This is achieved by their free interactive online resource for children, teachers and parents, full of fascinating and engaging content through videos, polls, quizzes, 21 day challenges and loads more activities. Teachers have the ability to sign up and easily create assignments using its simple interface and quickly deliver specific content using code. For parents, signing up means their young ocean explorers can save their favourite videos and watch them again and again.
Their vision is to create generational change by connecting hearts and minds with the importance of enjoying and caring for the ocean and giving them the tools to make a better future.
You can visit Young Ocean Explorers fantastic website here.
|“Heroes didn't leap tall buildings or stop bullets with an outstretched hand; they didn't wear boots and capes. They bled, and they bruised, and their superpowers were as simple as listening, or loving. Heroes were ordinary people who knew that even if their own lives were impossibly knotted, they could untangle someone else's. And maybe that one act could lead someone to rescue you right back.” – Jodi Picoult