Buddy Day used as tool to inspire more kindness and respect for children
Buddy Day – the day where the well being of children becomes a key focus – is coming up this November 13th, with five North Island communities getting involved.Buddy Day involves 1800 adults in the five locations adopting life-size cardboard ‘Buddies and taking them into communities and workplaces.
Through the carers, the Buddies will ask people all day: “What one thing will you do better for kids in your field of view – today, this week or this year?”
Local iwi Ngāti Rangi will host Buddy Day in the Central Plateau towns of Ohākune, Raetihi and Waiouru this year – further widening the spread of the national event’s messages and learnings.
Ngāti Rangi pou arahi (chief executive) Andy Gowland-Douglas was quick to sign Ngāti Rangi Trust up to locally host Buddy Day with the whole community of about 2750 residents invited to take part.
Buddy Day was established in Hamilton in November 2011 by national child advocacy agency Child Matters to start conversations and drive change about the role every adult plays in the lives of children – from preventing child abuse to providing great environments for children to flourish.
Auckland, Tauranga and Wellington joined Buddy Day in 2012.
“As iwi, we are kaitiaki of our region, which means we have the responsibility of not only looking after our environment but all whānau who live here as well,” she said.
Child Matters chief executive Anthea Simcock tells how in its origins, Buddy Day was created to challenge existing attitudes and behaviours towards the way we value our children, and shift us all towards a society that prioritises the wellbeing of children in everything we do.
“We want to encourage people to do what they can to impact children’s lives in positive ways every day – whether it is making a change for one child, or doing something that will make a difference for many.
“Every child deserves a great childhood, and I believe it is everybody’s business to do what they can to make this happen.
Participation in Buddy Day is free. Adults can register as Buddy ‘Carers’ and schools can register as Buddy ‘Creators’ atwww.buddyday.org.nz