So it's Waitangi Day here in NZ. Meant to be our national holiday but often becomes a day full of misunderstandings and grievances. But when you think about it, us here in NZ have it pretty sweet. Sure this is a generalisation and yeah, some have it better than others. But really, health care for the most part is free, or at least heavily subsidised. School is free, or nearly. And if you can't work there's the unemployment benefit. When you compare that to the lives of any one of the kids we sponsor, or even the larger group of kids who are involved in Kids First programmes, that is pretty sweet.
Take even one example. A child in a family of 5 kids. Dad's left and of course theres no money from him. The kids and mum all live in one room perhaps 2x4m. Smaller than your bedroom, I'm sure! This isn't just a cozy sleeping arrangement - this is their whole house! Mum doesn't have a job, and never finished school. Her kids search the streets to look for used straws that they take home so their mum can weave them into mats and other crafts to sell. As you might imagine, that doesn't bring in much money. These kids would be amazed at the luxury of New Zealand society where they would live in a house with many rooms, go to school, and their family would have an income.
Now we can't give our kids all that. And in a way we don't want to - there is a benefit and growth that happens when you work hard and achieve something rather than just getting it handed to you. That is what we are trying to do at Kids First. We are giving kids an opportunity to grow through education and schooling. An opportunity to run and play and develop sports skills with our Sunday Soccer programme. And an opportunity to express their creative nature and explore themselves and their hopes and dreams through art sessions run by Art at Heart.
Our friend Andrew at Art at Heart said it so eloquently that I will leave you with a quote from him:
Here at Kids First we all have something to say, so this blog will be updated by members of our team as our work progresses to keep all of you in the loop!