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.