Why does NZ have steadily declining scores on global education measures such as PISA? Why do we have third-world rates of Rheumatic Fever? Why do we have the OECD's highest rate of teenage suicide?
There is a strong correlation between our work (primarily in the Education sector) and the Health sector, and both sectors face the problem of inter-generational inequity.
This might explain why so many people in the medical field become sponsors of our Dreamers, because they see first-hand the (preventable!) outcomes of persistent inadequacy. Indeed, many staff at Te Whatu Ora - Te Tai Tokerau (the former Northland DHB) have selected us as their partner charity for Payroll Giving. Ensuring that every child in NZ has the support, encouragement, resources and opportunities to achieve a good education and pursue their life dreams is the only way to stop the cycle of inequity.
Dr Julie Spray, an interdisciplinary medical and childhood anthropologist, wrote in Newsroom that Rheumatic Fever is the "canary in the coalmine for inequity".
Dr Innes Asher is world-renowned for her work in respiratory diseases, and she was quoted in this article in the Listener magazine. That article's author, Rebecca Macfie, captured the essence well: "Without without enough money to get by, families were crowding together to save on rent; without enough money for good food, children weren't getting the nutrition vital to a healthy immune system; without enough money for heating, their houses were cold and damp and the resulting mould harmed their respiratory systems; without money for doctors' visits for minor illnesses, the minor became major; because children were too often sick, cold and undernourished, they didn't learn as well; without enough for the necessities of life, these households were stricken with acute stress."
For a deeper dive into the issue, this report, Multisectoral and Decolonial Approaches to Prevent Acute Rheumatic Fever in Aotearoa, explains how our rates of Rheumatic Fever are a symptom of a greater set of societal issues. Alexandra Trace did this research for her Master's thesis in Development Studies in 2022. Not only does it drill down into the causes of this problem, it also illustrates why we're unable to resolve it, due to restrictive government contracts and funding mechanisms that have led to competition. There's also a lack of collaboration between different social sector organisations, even when they have the same objectives.
Chairperson, Board of Trustees
I Have A Dream Charitable Trust
School Holiday Programmes
Despite the challenging weather at the start of the year, our teams were still able to go ahead with our annual school holiday programmes in January. Activities included nature connection programmes, surfing, walking, biking (and bike care), as well as lots of opportunities for team building across all of the age groups.
Read more about the activities our year 7&8 Dreamers got up to here.
Our annual whanau event finally went ahead in March after having been postponed in February due to the bad weather and damage caused by the floods.
The event held on the grounds of Tikipunga High School is a free event for Dreamers at all of our kura (schools) and their whanau. Activities included face painting, mini golf, hot rod and tractor rides, a petting zoo and bouncy castles.
A massive thanks to Rapid Response who supports this event every year serving up over 900 burgers to the hungry attendees. It was another great success and evening of fun and bonding for all.
The Quarry Arts Centre in Whangarei has always been a generous supporter of I Have a Dream providing holiday programme placements specifically for IHAD students. In term 1 of 2023 we were able to extend and develop this relationship further with the introduction of a regular programme for groups of Dreamers running across the whole term. This programme was made possible with the help of ELC (Enriching Local Curriculum) Funding.
"This consistency is mutually beneficial for both IHAD students as well as The Quarry Art Centre. We are able to focus on the needs, interests and developmental stages of dreamers" says Navigator Marcia Aperahama. "We are also supporting the development of local art practitioners."
The programme uses a range of mediums and talented facilitators who come with skill in their practices but also works with those who bring their knowledge as tangata whenua (Maori from that area) or other Maori who have received knowledge from this area.
Across the weeks our Dreamers explored basic photography skills with a local photographer. These photographs were then printed and rearranged to create the basis for a digital world. The Dreamers were encouraged to forrage for natural resources to add to the surfaces. In the final weeks their work was recreated in a digital platform creating a link between physically tangible art and art in a digital space.
All of the Dreamers loved the layered approach of the programme and a number felt confident that they could run a similar project with their peers. A number of Dreamers also discovered a flair for photography that they didn't know they had.
The Quarry Arts programme will continue in Term 2 with another set of Dreamers.
In term 1 of 2023 a number of our year 8 Dreamers were given the opportunity to take part in free diving experience. The seven week programme was developed in collaboration with Freedive Aotearoa specifically for IHAD Dreamers.
The programme was designed for a select group of Year 8 boys and focused on the Te Whare Tapa Wha model. The main aspects being taha tinana (physical well-being), taha hinengaro (mental and emotional well-being) and taha wairua (spiritual well-being).
In addition to increasing their water confidence and safety, some of the key outcomes of the programme included helping them learn how to push boundaries whilst understanding limits, developing discipline by clearing the mind and focusing on one thing. Also calming the nervous system to increase their capacity for breath holding.
We have had an amazing start to the year with an enthusiastic and committed group of mentors and volunteers helping us with key events and programmes, as well as group and 1-1 mentoring.
Many of our volunteers stepped up and helped at our IHAD summer holiday programmes. Thank you to all our wonderful volunteers that took time out of their holiday and whanau time and for some even a day's annual leave from mahi (work) to come and tautoko (support). Feedback was extremely positive that not only did Volunteers help hugely during our summer holiday programmes and camps, but that they also had fun, new experiences and learning and gratitude for joining our Navigators and Dreamers.
This year with the support of Tumuaki and school staff we have recruited an exceptional group of student volunteers for After School Programmes. A special thanks to Julie Hamilton from Pompallier College who has promoted the opportunity amongst senior students and recruited around 15 new student volunteers to work with us this year.
"The new student volunteers along with our longer term volunteers and new volunteers who have come to us via the community and Volunteering Northland have made an amazing start in their roles. We are grateful for the time, patience, commitment and fun they bring to programmes. Many of them have committed to running at least one new game or activity this term and this hugely supports our Navigators. Without them we could not run After School Programmes with so many of our Dreamers able to participate" says Kirsty Pillay-Hansen, Volunteering and Mentoring Manager.
In the mentoring space, we have had a great start to 2023 with a fun day at the beach for group mentoring and the commencement of our 1-1 mentoring matches.
On Saturday 11th March our Mentees and Mentors came together for stand up paddle boarding through the Matapouri estuary provided by the SUP Bro paddle boarding team. The weather was beautiful and we had a wonderful adventure splitting the large group onto two huge stand up paddle boards, working our way through the mangroves, followed by swimming, lunch together and real fruit ice creams.
We have now made 1-1 matches and are supporting Mentors and Mentees as they start their 1-1 mentoring journey, supported by our I Have a Dream team.
"We are excited to see the progression of the bonds already formed and hearing how first meet-ups have gone." says Kirsty.
Thank you to all our wonderful Volunteers and Mentors. Without you, we could not do what we do. If you or anyone you know is interested in Volunteering or Mentoring for I Have a Dream please contact Kirsty.
Community Spirit & Generosity
Support for I Have a Dream often comes in many different shapes and forms as shown by the different types of donations, activities and ideas that we receive on a regular basis.
In March we were fortunate to receive more than $11k in Donations thanks to the efforts of some of our local and national supporters who were out and about sharing the IHAD message.
Thanks to the team at Oceania Healthcare who completed Auckland's Round the Bays event wearing IHAD branded t-shirts and selecting us as their chosen charity for the event.
Thanks to Rob Geaney from Tikipunga Cricket Club who invited us to be part of the "Orange Clash" cricket game between Tiki Football club and Tiki Cricket club. Not only were we their chosen charity for the day, but we were also invited along on the day to build awareness with the local community.
Thanks also to Dean McGonagle for organising the annual Platinum Homes ProAm golf tournament held at Sherwood Park Golf Club.
Our Dreamers have also been quite active running a fundraising car wash at Tikipunga High School to help raise funds for their planned Rarotonga trip later this year. The Dreamers have now raised almost $32k towards their goal of $50,000.
If you have any ideas for fundraising activities or initiatives then feel free to get in touch with our Fundraising Manager Jodie Hannam, we are open to all ideas and and can find a way to make it anything work.
Super Charged Generosity
You may have spotted on your recent Tax Donation Receipt that we have now partnered with Supergenerous to help your donations go further.
Did you know that if you have donated to us in the past 4 years, you could be eligible to get 33% back in donation rebates?
Their aim is to supercharge human generosity and tap into the estimated 1 billion dollars of unclaimed donation rebates sitting in a government bank account right now.
Supergenerous is a Kiwi social enterprise helping you to claim these rebates, or, if you wish, to regift them back to charities like us. You simply sign up with them online by giving them your details and the names of the charities you wish to donate to and they take care of the rest.
Want to know more visit the Supergenerous website here.
Dear GlobalGiving Supporter,
Poor concentration – poverty reduces brainpower needed for navigating other areas of life.
I recently came across an article from Princeton University on how poverty reduces brain power and the ability to navigate other areas in life. The article explains how poverty and all its associated concerns requires so much mental energy, that those who are impacted by financial hardship have less brain power to cope with many basic areas of their life. As a result they are more likely to make mistakes or decisions that can further perpetuate their financial woes. This is all blindingly obvious, once you think about it, but it is something which is usually overlooked by talk-back radio hosts, other media commentators, many politicians, and the designers and administrators of Government service delivery.
This quote from one of the paper's authors sums it up: "Previous views of poverty have blamed poverty on personal failings, or an environment that is not conducive to success. We're arguing that the lack of financial resources itself can lead to impaired cognitive function. The very condition of not having enough can actually be a cause of poverty."
The fallout from the Covid years has started to shine a light on the hardship that more segments of society are now facing, however it is important to remember that many were already struggling to make ends meet long before Covid was even part of our vocabulary. As a result, their resilience to be able deal with the simple everyday tasks like staying focused in school will be harder than ever. The mahi (work) our team are doing to support these vulnerable tamariki (children), is therefore more important than ever. You can read the full Princeton University article here.
Chairperson, Board of Trustees
I Have A Dream Charitable Trust
Visitor Open Days
If you've not yet had the chance to attend one of our Visitor Open Days, then maybe 2023 is the year.
We're often asked what it is that our Navigators do on a day to day basis and frankly there is no better way to explain this than by being in the environment itself. Many of the visitors who come along to these special days are often blown away by the experience and often remark that while they had some understanding of the work we're doing with our programme, seeing it in practice was a whole other thing.
Our Visitor Open Days are held once a term at one of our four Kura (schools) partners. We have visitors join us from all across the country and it is nice easy round trip from Auckland. Here are some comments from our last Visitor Open Day held in October.
Our next Visitor Open Day will be on the 17th March 2023. If you are interested in attending this or another Visitor Open Day in 2023, or if you know someone else that might be interested in I Have a Dream, please contact our Fundraising Manager Jodie Hannam or Chair Scott Gilmour.
The Power of an Idea
Never under estimate the power of listening to the ideas of our tamariki, whether they are big or small. One of our Year 5 Dreamers Wiremu, had a very simple idea which has turned into something very beautiful for the whole community as shown in a recent Sport Northland article. Whilst playing a game of tag on the playground, Wiremu posed a great question. "Mama, what if we invited our friends to come to the playground at the same time as us, and we could all play together? We could start a playground club!"
With the support of his whanau (family) and I Have a Dream Navigator, Jessie Hedges, Wiremu's enthusiastic idea turned into his (and I Have a Dreams') very own Playground Club with friends from his community and it continued to grow as weeks went by. Not only was this a great opportunity to connect with others, it is also an opportunity to explore their local neighbourhood with the group moving to different playgrounds week by week. One of the parents commented "Quite often we come here and noone else is here, so it's much more fun when they can play with others."
What a fantastic idea Wiremu! You can read the full Sport Northland article here.
Connecting through Sport
In Term 3 and 4 Navigator Dwayne saw the fruition of a Year 6 Inter-Kura sports event which saw students from 4 primary kura come together and participate in a number of sports together. These were 3 IHAD kura plus another local kura Whau Valley. The basis for this event was to increase contact between the 4 primary kura and to create whanaungatanga (connection) between the students of these kura, many of which will come together next year as they enter Intermediate.
The event saw the likes of Hannah from Northland Rugby being involved in assisting the Term 3 games of Rippa Rugby, and Sport Northland Energisers Paora and Sam joining in Term 4 for Basketball and Ki-O-Rahi. Students were given the opportunity to Mihi Whakatau (welcome ceremony) for both Tangata Whenua (locals) and Manuhiri (visitors) which created a wonderful space for leadership and to represent themselves and their kura. Students from each kura were mixed into four brand new teams made up of a mix of students from each kura. This played a huge part in the whanaungatanga between the students. The attitude and sportsmanship shown by each and every student was absolutely amazing with interactions between students filled with positive communication.
Dwayne will be heading into Intermediate next year as he follows his Year 6 cohort into Year 7 so will be unable to have such a part to play in the organization next year but through the contact that has taken place he has seen the start of communications between kura begin for an event to take place in Term 1 2023.
A Thank You to our Volunteers & Mentors
On Monday 5th December we had a celebration to acknowledge and thank all of our I Have a Dream Volunteers, Mentors and Interns.
It was a wonderful night with about 100 people in attendance including our I Have a Dream staff team, Dreamers and whanau, tumuaki (school principals) and our Mentors, Volunteers and Interns.
"It was a fantastic night where we celebrated and thanked all of our Mentors and Volunteers that play a vital role in I Have a Dream. Without all of them we could not do what we do. The night was filled with celebration, korero (conversation), speeches and laughter and it was a real joy to have everyone together in the same room, especially after the last few tough years", says Kirsty Pillay-Hansen, Volunteering and Mentoring Manager.
Delicious kai was served and our Dreamers held leadership roles in welcoming guests, serving drinks and kai and giving out thank you gifts to everyone. "It was a wonderful chance for our Dreamers to shine", says Kirsty.
We would especially like to thank our speakers who contributed to the night and spoke about their experience with I Have a Dream. Heidi and J'oe spoke about their mentoring journey. Krystal spoke about her experience as an After School Programme Volunteer. Leba spoke about her experience as a parent of a Dreamer. Whaea Ness spoke about her experience as a tumuaki. Thank you to these speakers who gave our guests a personal insight into I Have a Dream and shared wonderful stories, laughter and inspiration.
Congratulations to Volunteer Jonah Shortland
We would like to congratulate Jonah Shortland who was recently awarded an Oranga Tamariki Prime Minister's Award. Jonah popped in and talked to Kirsty about her experience and showed her photos of her recent trip to Wellington to receive the award, meet the Prime Minister, visit Parliament and attend the awards celebration.
"We were delighted to be asked to endorse Jonah's nomination and write a letter of submission to support her. Jonah has been an exceptional student volunteer and has contributed hugely to I Have a Dream. We are excited to see the next steps of her journey and her own dream," says Kirsty.
Volunteering & Mentoring in 2023
Our Volunteers and Mentors continue to tautoko and support Dreamers and programmes through the summer and into 2023 and we are so grateful for all the enthusiasm and commitment that they continue to give.
We have a number of Volunteers signed up to support and help out on our summer holiday programmes from mid to late January. For many of our Dreamers, the summer holidays are a long period away from the support, consistency and resources of I Have a Dream and so these holiday programmes are very important.
We have around 25 new student volunteers raring to go in 2023 and will start our year off with induction, training and matching for them. We are grateful to the local high schools that we are able to work with to provide these opportunities for high school students to support our Dreamers.
We have a large number of new Mentors recruited for our 2023 cohort - ready for Mentor training and the start of mentoring group activities. We will also run regular mentor meetings and mentoring activities for our matched mentoring pairs, starting with a fun beach activity day in February.
Our year 12 Dreamers have set out to fundraise $30,000 to fund their overseas trip to Rarotonga in 2023. They brainstormed and came up with the idea of a fundraiser at our local markets to sell their handmade earrings and baking to help raise funds as a group for their trip.
Our Dreamers accepted the challenge and began planning. Together our dreamers planned and executed 2 days and nights making and selling their earrings and baking to their local community. Our Dreamers came together and showed teamwork, whanaungatanga and tumanako (experiences) through the whole process.
Their determination and excitement for this trip is what drives them to get out of their comfort zones and learn what it takes to achieve goals. Overall the fundraiser was a success, raising around $1500 profit learning new life skills and increasing their community engagement.
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Kia ora Scott
What is our secret sauce?
We've all been reading about the increasing mental health challenges for Kiwis, especially young people. When you add in worsening education, housing, general health and other indicators of well-being, it's clear that NZ faces a crisis.
Most people accept that intergenerational poverty and widening inequality are root causes. What can be done?
The first thing to accept is that these overlapping crises have been building for a long time … ever since the radical economic and social transformations of the early '80s, in fact. The second thing to accept is that a "solution" will also take time to take root. This presents a huge difficulty, due to the public clamouring for politicians to "do something."
So, over the past 40 years — as our social and educational indicators have progressively worsened — non-profits and Governments (of every stripe) have implemented thousands of programmes, evaluative studies, research reports, committees of inquiry, etc.
Why have they not worked?
This attached paper highlights that even initially successful programmes lack a key ingredient. It suggests that developmental relationships — characterized by attachment, reciprocity, progressive complexity, and balance of power — are the secret sauce to any change in social, economic & community outcomes.
These academic papers can be a bit abstruse at times, and long-winded, but this one does an admirable job — within 10 pages! — of describing this active ingredient.
In a nutshell, this describes the role of our Navigators. They form long-term and trust-based relationships with every young person in the programme, and also with every family. The programme supports students within our partner Kura for the 15 years of their educational journey, and it succeeds because of these developmental relationships. We're not parents and we're not teachers, so we have a unique opportunity to build emotional attachment, deliver opportunities for enriching personal growth, and gradually shift the balance of power from the Navigator to the young person.
Twenty years of the I Have a Dream programme in NZ, which builds on 40+ years of success in the US, show that investing in a child through the entirety of their childhood is a proven way to break the cycle.
Chairperson, Board of Trustees
I Have A Dream Charitable Trust
Dreamers fundraise for a life changing "Dream" travel experience to Rarotonga
A group of our year 12 Dreamers are on a mission to fundraise for a life-changing end-of school overseas trip to Rarotonga once they successfully pass NCEA and complete Year 13 in late 2023.
IHAD Navigator and trip organiser, Daisy Rogers says, "The main objective of this trip is to utilise the life changing experience to teach our Dreamers to learn how to set a goal, plan a trip, fundraise, work as a team and to be accountable for the results. They will experience the hard work required to make a dream like this become a reality. This trip will also encourage Dreamers to finish school, attain NCEA, have 80%+ attendance, commit to fundraising, gain employment or tertiary education and achieve personal goals"
This trip will take many of our Dreamers far out of their comfort zone but the sense of achievement and benefits they will receive could possibly change their lives forever.
Read full story here
Poor Knights Island Visit
On the 13th May, three Dreamers and caregivers were given the opportunity to visit Northland's world renowned Poor Knights Islands, thanks to Samara Nicholas from Experiencing Marine Reserves (EMR). The trip was sponsored by Dive! Tutukaka and the Bobby Stafford-Bush Foundation.
Piripi Burt, our Te Kura o Otangarei school-based navigator was fortunate enough to share in this experience with his Dreamers:
"EMR and Dive! Tutukaka provided an opportunity for 3 deserving Dreamers to meet other young people from around New Zealand that are also interested in the environment. It was incredibly heartwarming to meet other parents and adults that support young people in their endeavours. I was most proud when our Dreamers were asked if they wanted to do interviews. They felt comfortable and confident enough to share what they had learned from theirwhanau and the experiences they have had recently, even though they were a little nervous. One of our Dreamers proudly answered his questions in maori and completed his interview with this Whakatauaki (Proverb)"
"Toitu te marae a Tangaroa, Toitu te marae a Tane, Kia ora ai i te Iwi"
Protect and strengthen the realms of the sea, Protect and strengthen the realms of the forest then the people will thrive.
The day is best summed up in this youtube video compilation supplied by EMR below. We are extremely grateful for such an amazing opportunity to be gifted to our dreamers.
Celebrating our Volunteers
In the last few weeks we have celebrated NZ Student Volunteer Week and National Volunteer Week. We have a number of adult and student volunteers & mentors who volunteer at our After School Programmes.
We recently held several mentoring and volunteering sessions, including a lunch with our wonderful student volunteers from Pompallier College. Sadly only half the group were present due to sickness but we still took the opportunity to thank them, take a yummy lunch and hand out certificates and volunteer badges.
"Our After School Programme (ASP) Volunteers play such an important role in making sure our ASP's are a success. They get alongside, support and have fun with the Dreamers, help run games and activities and support our Navigators. It would be very tough for us to run our ASP's for our Dreamers without these volunteers. We are hugely grateful for their time, commitment and energy" says Kirsty Pillay-Hansen, Volunteering and Mentoring Manager.
I Have a Dream Mentoring
On 4th July we had a wonderful mentoring evening that brought together some of our existing Mentors with our new 2022 cohort to discuss the mentoring programme and share insight into great mentoring skills.
This year's mentors will be working with years 7 & 8 students from Tikipunga High School and Te Kura o Otangarei. We will start in August with group mentoring sessions that will run monthly for about six months and then we will make one-on-one mentoring partnerships in the New Year.
"Having this combination of group based mentoring followed by one-on-one mentoring is important because it takes time to get to know each other, build the relationship and establish trust" says Volunteering and Mentoring Manager, Kirsty Pillay-Hansen.
We were grateful to existing Mentors Siobhan Patia, Heidi Erceg, Jacki Byrd, Tim Baker and Carol Martin who came along to share their experience with our newly trained Mentors. These Mentors joined our Navigators in sharing top tips and what makes a great Mentor.
Visit by Black Ferns
On 15th June our Dreamers at Tikipunga High School had the privilege of meeting and hearing inspirational stories from 10 Black Fern NZ Women's Rugby players along with Black Ferns Coaches Wayne Smith and Wes Clarke.
"It all started when Black Fern Renee Wickliffe contacted us with an interest in volunteering", says I Have a Dream Volunteering and Mentoring Manager Kirsty Pillay-Hansen. "Renee told me she wanted to give back and support a local community organisation on her day off from training and preparation before their recent game against the USA. Throughout the morning before the afternoon Renee was due to visit us, we received updates that more and more of the team were wanting to join her. Next thing we knew we had 12 of the Black Ferns rocking up to visit our I Have a Dream After School Programme!"
Read full story here
Kia ora Dear Supporters,
The CEO Letter in this year's Annual Report outlines the issues our communities in Whangarei – and many others – face every day. You've all been reading the headlines about the effects of increasing inequality in NZ, exacerbated by the Covid pandemic. Housing insecurity, job insecurity, food insecurity … the pressures on our families are immense.
The articles in the Annual Report illustrate the ongoing mahi from our Navigators, which include helping to arrange emergency housing, delivering kai, ensuring the Dreamers are transported to school, etc. Our major focus is on the strengths and capabilities of the 1,000+ tamariki and rangatahi in our programme, encouraging them to continue striving towards their dreams, but sometimes that takes a back seat to just surviving.
Even in the midst of these challenges, we're thrilled to report that a new I Have a Dream project will be starting up in Upper Hutt. It was especially pleasing that the Electorate MP for Remutaka attended the Launch Event on Tues 3rd May – Chris Hipkins, who is the Minister for Education.
We're so happy that Karen Wellington, the Principal at Te Kura o Hau Karetu and Ron Vink, founder of 4 A Better Trust, are leading this initiative. The event generated excellent news coverage:
It's also exciting that I Have a Dream was one of 18 collective projects profiled in a recent report from the NZ Productivity Commission, titled "Together alone: Joined-up social services". NOTE: the report contains a ton of useful information for our team, especially as we begin to expand our footprint, but is probably too much to expect you to read … . However, if you can read the Overarching themes and lessons, pages 1 – 7, you will see why we are excited about being profiled. It's the kind of external validation that will help us when speaking with Government and interested communities.
Chairperson, Board of Trustees
I Have A Dream Charitable Trust
Special notes to our generous donors
The Audited Annual Accounts illustrate that we continued to benefit from the incredible commitment and generosity of our donors. Prior years have seen one large donor give us a large sum of money, which has made year-to-year comparisons harder, but we continued to be able to put aside some money for growth and contingencies.
Our system automatically generates receipts for many donors. For others, such as those on regular Direct Deposit donations, we have mailed out the Year-end Tax Donation Receipts. If you are missing a receipt, please email Lesley here
If you'd like to receive a hard copy of the Annual Report in the mail, please let me know. I personally prefer to read such things non-electronically, and a hard copy has the added benefit of being left on your kitchen table or in your office reception area, which helps spread the word of our kaupapa far and wide. We can also supply additional copies if you'd like to pass them to friends and colleagues.
Dreamer School Holiday Programme
Every January I Have a Dream (IHAD) provides a free school holiday programme for tamariki and rangitahi from their partner schools
Under the guidance of IHAD's passionate and dedicated Navigators, Year 7 and 8 Dreamers get together for a week of whanaungatanga, ako and rangitira – and they love it!
First up this year was three days on the Mountains to Sea programme where they got hands-on environmental education. The programme is designed to empower tamariki to explore and strengthen their connection through experiences in forests, rivers and the ocean.
The final two days were spent at the IHAD house in the grounds of Tikipunga High School. This is especially valuable for the Year 7's as they are able to get used to their new learning environment before the start of the school year. They also met their other High School IHAD Navigators who made them feel awesomely welcome through shared experiences, helping develop a really important connection before school started for the year.
Year 7 Navigator Rose Welsh says it was a really special time. "We have children from Tikipunga Primary, Totara Grove, Otangarei Primary and Tikipunga high come together and they really make a connection which helps make the transition into high school easier for them.
"It is great to have the high school Navigators make a real effort to come to the house because it makes it more collaborative at high school," says Rose.
High school Navigator Daisy Rogers believes having a mixed holiday programme with Years 9 to 13 is a really good formula. "What is special is that we offer a safe space and place in the school holidays for around 40 Dreamers and expose them to activities and new people. The holiday programme is an amazing opportunity to develop relationships with other students, volunteers and external people in the community.
"The activities can really flick the switch on their light bulbs. For example, students completing a four hour hike they didn't believe they could do and having a go at surfing. It is about building resilience and determination through teamwork and communication – making the Dreamers realise they can achieve anything. It's an awesome opportunity to practice leadership skills," adds Daisy.
Please check out our website for more examples of the wonderful after-school programme activities we run with our Dreamers (Click here)
Exciting new initiative at Te Kura o Otangarei
We are delighted that Rob Stanley joined the IHAD Team in January 2022. Rob is part of our dedicated team based at Te Kura o Otangarei and works part time with us, complementing his part time role at the kura also. One of the exciting initiatives that Rob is working on is the development of programming to support tamariki who are not attending kura or participating in alternative education. There are significant needs in this space and IHAD, in collaboration with the kura, are very well placed to have great positive impact in it.
Rebecca Macfie is that rare journalist who combines deep understanding of both business and politics with a strong social lens. The most recent example was this excellent article from the Feb '22 issue of North & South magazine, describing the huge growth in part-time and contract employment. As she eloquently describes and illustrates with numerous examples, these jobs are extremely precarious, making it hard for a person to make commitments like buying a house, raising a family, etc. They are also hugely damaging to the worker's health and their family life, with their irregular hours, changing shift work and additional stresses. They lack normal workplace benefits such as regular breaks, sick leave, protection from unjust dismissal, etc. Perhaps most unfair, they pay less than full-time roles, although often doing exactly the same work.
She wrote another insightful article for North & South recently on Housing Inequality. These issues, along with access to Health Care, decent Education for your kids, etc., are inter-related. Worse, they often reinforce each other, resulting in the blight of inter-generational poverty that NZ has experienced for many decades.
The report we refer to above from the Productivity Commission is one of many we have seen from various Government Departments and non-profits researching the situation. All of these well-researched studies show us what is wrong. Loosening the bonds between businesses, workers, community and Government can lead to huge increases in corporate profitability (and the returns to capital), but they are destroying our social fabric
Dear Supporter (via GlobalGiving),
We all wonder at what is going wrong with society, with democracy. What explains the rise of populism around the world, and this backlash against the so-called "elites"?
Would it surprise you to hear that this was all foretold back in the late 1950's?
"The Rise of the Meritocracy" was published in 1958 by British sociologist Michael Young.
He meant the term as a pejorative - underneath the mock academic tract lay bitter social commentary. Although the test-based system of advancement emerging in post-war Britain appeared to provide opportunity for all, it was, Mr. Young argued, simply the centuries-old class system in sheep's clothing.
His warnings resonate even more loudly today.
Written initially as a doctoral dissertation looking back from the year 2034, the book described the emergence of a new elite determined not by social position but by achievement on the standardized intelligence tests that were a very real - and dreaded - fact of educational life in 20th-century Britain.
The word was adopted into the English language with none of the negative connotations that Young intended it to have. He was deeply disappointed with the embrace of this word and philosophy by the Labour Party under Tony Blair. In a scathing article in the Guardian in 2001 he states, inter alia:
It is good sense to appoint individual people to jobs on their merit. It is the opposite when those who are judged to have merit of a particular kind harden into a new social class without room in it for others.
After the 1970s, meritocracy began to look increasingly like Young's dark satire. A system intended to give each new generation an equal chance to rise actually created a new hereditary class structure. Educated professionals pass on their money, connections, ambitions, and work ethic to their children, while less educated families fall further behind, with less and less chance of seeing their children move up. By kindergarten, the children of professionals are already a full two years ahead of their lower-class counterparts, and the achievement gap is almost unbridgeable.
This hierarchy slowly hardened over the decades without drawing much notice. It's based on education and merit, and education and merit are good things, right? Who would question it? The deeper injustice is disguised by plenty of exceptions, i.e., children who rose from modest backgrounds to the heights of society.
But it's this idea of fairness that accounts for meritocracy's cruelty. If you don't make the cut, you have no one and nothing to blame but yourself. Those who make it can feel morally pleased with themselves - their talents, discipline, good choices - and even a grim kind of satisfaction when they come across someone who hasn't made it. Not "There but for the grace of God go I," nor even "Life is unfair," but instead "You should have been more like me."
Two recent books have explored this concept further, focused on the US but with global implications:
The Tyranny of Merit by Michael J. Sandel, Professor of Government Theory at Harvard University Law School. This 8 minute TED talk is an excellent (and concise) summary of the book and the ailments we face as a society.
The Meritocracy Trap by Professor Daniel Markovits, professor of Law at the Yale Law School. This article by Jesse Mulligan profiles the book well.
Does it apply in NZ?
Yes, it does. This article from Newsroom on 18/11/21 profiles Max Rashbrooke's new book, Too Much Money: How wealth disparities are unbalancing Aotearoa New Zealand.
The good news is that we are not too far down the path that the US has travelled, and we are a small enough and connected enough society to make the required changes. But it will require courage from our politicians…which they will find if we demand it.
With our thanks,
Scott Gilmour, Chairperson Board of Trustees
I Have A Dream Charitable Trust
LOCKDOWNS HAVE HIT OUR COMMUNITIES HARD
– Story by Year 7 Navigator Jon Renes
Just as it did in 2020 Covid and lockdown caused significant angst and hardship for some of our Dreamers and their whanau in 2021. Being based at Tikipunga High school meant Navigator Jon was able to assist with the distribution and delivery of kai packs to whanau in need and thus play a small part in actively supporting some of our I Have a Dream whanau.
Through collecting the specially prepared kai packs from our Dream Partner Pak N Save, and distributing and delivering packs to whanau, Matua Jon discovered first hand the extent to which a number of our Dreamers and their whanau were ‘doing it tough’. While the relationships and whanaungatanga that have always been significant to Jon helped anchor him, there were three stories that continue to vex and unsettle him.
The first story was of a 6 month pregnant mum who had come to the I Have a Dream HQ at Tiki High to collect a kai pack. The mum, her partner, and their two primary school age tamariki were in emergency accommodation in a cabin in a local holiday park. While the cabin had a fridge, kettle and toaster it did not have a table and chairs meaning the whanau had to sit on the floor to eat. All food preparation and cooking, dishes, laundry, and bathing had to be done in the camp’s communal facilities.
The second harrowing story came from one of our primary school Navigators who called in to the HQ to collect kai packs to deliver to a number of her whanau. ‘Thinking out loud’ while loading the packs, the Navigator was trying to come up with a temporary refrigeration solution for perishable items in the kai pack for one particular whanau who recently had rats get inside their house and chew through the power cords to their washing machine and fridge.
The last whanau situation that has had a lasting impact on Jon involved a family of five who had been ‘couch surfing’ with whanau and friends since the beginning of the year. Toward the middle of Term 3 it emerged that the two oldest children, a girl in Year 7 and boy in Year 8 had not attended school since early Term 2 as they, along with mum and two toddler siblings were staying with friends on a rural property 50 minutes from school. Even if the whanau had their own car their financial situation would have made it nigh on impossible to get the two taitamariki to and from school five days a week. In talking with the mum about their situation, Jon learned that due to the limited space in the house they were staying at, all five of the family were sharing a single room. As a way of giving mum a break of sorts, Jon offered to have one or both of the high schoolers stay with him and his family for as long as needed or wanted. After a few days discussion and contemplation the Year 8 boy opted to stay with Jon and his family for what turned out to be a ten week period spanning the second half of Term 3, the Term 3-4 school holidays, and lockdown. For the balance of Term 3 the boy relished being back at school, his attendance was 100%, and his teachers and whanau teacher delighted to see him back. In mid October the whanau secured a Kainga Ora house in Otangarei and are now reunited, the high schoolers are back at school, and the mum is elated to have her own whare.
Before Jon started working for I Have a Dream he had read and seen news stories about the lower socioeconomic socially disadvantaged groups across the country however, it is one thing ‘reading’ about these sorts of issues and another experiencing them first hand and being able to truly understand and empathise with the position some whanau are in. While stories like these ‘cut deep’, Navigator Jon also feels incredibly grateful, humble, and thankful that through the generosity and altruism of our Donors, he is able to be a part of the amazing kaupapa that is I Have a Dream.
As a Navigator, Jon gets to be a life-long coach and a mentor – someone who can be there when the times get tough for tamariki (students). He gets to work with the kids, at their home with their whanau and at school. Every child needs someone to guide them, to help them navigate this life and Jon, as a Navigator feels privileged to be able to do this.
SELF-CARE FOR SELF-ESTEEM
– Story by Year 11 Navigator Daisy Rodgers
Every year, Navigators task their Dreamers with raising money through a fundraising activity which they can put towards an end of year activity. Navigator Daisy’s Year 11 Girls really wanted to go to Rainbows End to celebrate the end of 2021, but with lockdown restrictions, this soon proved unrealistic. In amongst this and as the year progressed, it became apparent to Daisy that many of her Year 11 Dreamers were dealing with self-esteem challenges. The prospect of their first school ball seemed to peak anxiety in a number of girls, with many concerned about having to do their own hair and make-up, some worried that they wouldn’t be able to find a ball dress that suited them and others opting to not attend to avoid this pressure altogether. Daisy realised that her Dreamers were in need of some self-care and with Rainbows End off the table, the group came up with the idea of a weekend away full of pampering and a touch of luxury.
Self-esteem refers to whether you appreciate and value yourself. Your self-esteem develops and changes as a result of your life experiences and interactions with other people. [source: University of Queensland]
Daisy enlisted the help of a business mentor (Josie Rogers of New Beginnings) who came in to discuss how through an injury, she needed to find a way to financially support herself and therefore got creative and made a business out of material that would otherwise have been thrown away. The ‘Recycled Earrings’ project was born. During after-school programmes, the Dreamers made 130 pairs of earrings and sold them over 10 months at various markets and through private sales. After costs, they raised over $1,500 which was put towards their weekend away. Tangible benefits aside, the fundraising activity helped the girls develop creativity, entrepreneurial and proactive attitudes, drive and enthusiasm.
Then came the task of organising the weekend away. None of the group had ever stayed in luxury accommodation before, nor had they been treated to an afternoon of pampering from professionals. Through research and Dream Team support, an amazing holiday home was sourced in Whangarei Heads (of which a second night koha was gifted) and the expertise from the team at Lush Life was enlisted to provide all the beauty treatments. But it wasn’t a guarantee that all the girls would automatically go on the trip. The group came up with their own set of prerequisites that each girl had to meet in order to attend:
Thankfully, all the girls achieved these requirements and the trip was booked.
Engaging in a self-care routine has been clinically proven to reduce or eliminate anxiety and depression, reduce stress, improve concentration, minimize frustration and anger, increase happiness, improve energy, and more. [source: Southern New Hampshire University]
As with many Year 11 teenagers, there is a lot going on emotionally, physically and mentally. The Youth19 Rangatahi smart survey of nearly 5000 secondary school students found that 23% of students reported significant symptoms of depression. This was particularly high for students at low decile schools and for those living in high deprivation neighbourhoods (i.e., lower income communities). More females reported significant depression symptoms (29%) than males (17%). [source: National Library of NZ]. Over the weekend, Daisy and the Dreamers held a lot of korero around these themes and explored how they can try and help themselves, and one another, work through these various thoughts and feelings.
Overall the weekend was a great success. The girls were overwhelmed by the beautiful home they stayed in, with one Dreamer commenting that they were “going to get a good job so I can get a view of the ocean every day”, and the pampering brought up everyone’s confidence levels. Daisy was ecstatic that the weekend had its desired effect and more,
“The weekend was incredible. I knew that a pampering weekend would be a good example of self-care but it had the added benefit of exposing them to another lifestyle and the girls wanting to work hard so they can achieve that for themselves.” said Navigator Daisy.
With the feeling of aroha high, the Dreamers wanted to say thank you to the generous hospitality of the holiday home owners and Lush Life staff. They made them earrings, crystal key chains, and bought flowers as a token of their appreciation. They also showed their gratitude to their Navigator, Daisy and prior to the trip, each Dreamer and their whanau coordinated a special gift to share with her.
It was a very special weekend with lots of bonding and memories made. These kinds of shared experiences are important for all rangitahi, to grow confidence and create a sense of belonging.
Meet Jodie - our locally-based Fundraising & Partnerships Manager
Jodie Hannam joined us in June of this year, in the first locally based Fundraising & Partnerships Manager role. With the growth of our organisation in Northland and opportunities for expansion, it had become apparent that someone local was needed to manage the Whangarei opportunities.
Jodie's background in sales, marketing, fundraising and event management brings wide range of experience to the role, along with her expansive network of existing relationships in Whangarei. Jodie has been blown away by the levels of interest and support for IHAD, "Although IHAD has been present in Whangarei for over 6 years now, many locals were totally unaware of the amazing work we are doing here and the great impact our programme has on our Dreamers and their whanau. Everybody I speak to just wants to find a way to help in some way and anything is possible. We can generally make any form of support work for us. Every opportunity to help our Dreamers and enrich their lives is a good opportunity." says Jodie
If you'd like to discuss ways to get involved, contact Jodie - email@example.com
Dreamer Work Experience Successes
Jodie has been busily meeting with various Northland businesses and has had some great successes. These are just two examples of how our supporters can help enhance the scope and prospects of our Dreamers futures.
Mary Kelleher of Kombi Nation recently offered her services as a mentor to show an interested Dreamer everything she had learnt over the last 40 years in the fashion industry. Navigator Daisy took one of her Year 11 Dreamers - Danielle - to visit Mary in Paihia and they got on fantastically. Danielle will begin work experience on Mondays and Tuesdays for the next four weeks. If everything goes to plan and Danielle shows the initiative, the right attitude and desire to learn, Mary will offer her a job through the summer and possibly weekends once back at school. There is a travel challenge of getting to Paihia every week, but with the agreement of Danielle's whanau, Mary has offered to host Danielle each Monday night during the trial period. As you can expect, Danielle is ecstatic about this opportunity who is keen to become a fashion designer.
Jodie has also met with the new owner of Huanui Orchards, Grant Luscombe and arranged for another Year 11 Dreamer - Tevita - to have a job interview with the manager Chris. Tevita was offered a job immediately and will start working Mondays, with the possibility of work through the Summer and into 2022, working around school. There is also the opportunity for more Dreamers to get jobs over the Summer and Navigator Daisy is discussing this with those that are interested.
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