KidsCan turns 7 years old : seven years of KidsCan has helped 46,000 children

KidsCan turns 7 years old : seven years of KidsCan has helped 46,000 children

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Seven years of practical help to reduce the impact of poverty on educational achievement in our low decile schools is being marked this weekend with a big thankyou to the thousands of donors and sponsors who support the KidsCan programmes.

The KidsCan Charitable Trust was founded on August 5th 2005 after an evaluation conducted in 80 low decile schools revealed thousands of children were regularly arriving at school cold, wet and hungry because their parents were struggling to make ends meet.

Launched with a generous $40,000 grant from the Guardian Trust, KidsCan has expanded from helping just 40 schools to now assisting 223 between Kaitaia and Invercargill. Today KidsCan supports the education of 46,000 children and has provided more than 8,000,000 food items, 25,000 pairs of shoes, 50,000 pairs of socks, 60,000 fleece lined raincoats and thousands of other items. 

The expanded programmes are supported by a range of caring sponsors including the Trillian Trust, McConnell Dowell, Conferenz, The Warehouse, the Ministry of Social Development, and more than 4000 individual donors. However there are still over 100 low decile schools on the waiting list for assistance. Research has shown that 270,000 children are now living in poverty in New Zealand. 

“Schools we support tell us the food programmes have eliminated social issues, reduced absenteeism and increased the children’s ability to learn,” says KidsCan Founder and CEO Julie Chapman (nee Helson).  “Research undertaken by Massey University also found KidsCan’s partnerships with low decile schools have a significant impact on increasing participation in class and raising the self esteem of children who previously felt they had no hope of better future.”

“The Raincoats for Kids programme was a wonderful way to help our families and children” says the principal of a Manawatu school. “The children are much keener to walk to school in all weathers knowing they will be dry when they get there.”

“We truly appreciate the raincoats, shoes and breakfast supplies,” says the principal of a Hawkes Bay school. “All of these items have made a difference to what we are able to provide in a variety of ways, from the children being able to stay dry at camp and walking to and from swimming, to the little boy who now walks taller and prouder thanks to his new pair of shoes.” 

Providing one child with the basics costs a donor just $15 per month and, thanks to the support of KidsCans sponsors, 100 per cent of the money contributed goes to support the kids.  See more at www.kidscan.org.nz