Breakfast and Lunch for Ngā Tamariki
Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Oriini ki Ngāti Awa in Whakatāne is a composite status total immersion kura and is founded on Ngā Pou e Whā representing Te Hāhi Ringatū, Te Whānau, Te Aho Matua and Ngāti Awa.
Over the past few months, they have decided to provide breakfast and lunch for all their tamariki.
“It all started with lockdown and the effect it was having on our families. We knew that because of lockdown some of our parents could become unemployed or have reduced incomes. We sent all the food donations that were still coming in from programmes like Kids Can, Fruit in Schools and Breakfast Club to our whānau,” says Tūmuaki Taiarahia Melbourne.
As the students began returning back to kura, the staff noticed that some had no lunch and were relying on their fellow classmates for kai. So, in addition to the kai provided by programmes the kura whānau got together and organised their own donations too.”
“We know that the first meal of the day is important especially for young people. We also realised that some whānau have found it difficult to provide kai. Since we have been providing both breakfast and lunch, we have noticed a big difference in the behaviour and energy of the tamariki.”
“It is also hard for some families to talk about any difficulties they might be having to provide, and the students feel whakamā coming to their teachers to ask for food. We wanted to avoid that – and that was another reason to provide meals. The pressure has been taken off parents and they have been really grateful for the support.”
The kura clarified information to their whānau regarding lockdown to ease any concerns and clear up any possible confusion with the breadth of information provided to the public at the time.
“We do have some tamariki that have health issues so there were definitely some concerns about the risks and impacts of Covid-19. Some of those students have just returned to school now. We are continuing to support learning for those tamariki who are still at home. We have good capacity to teach via internet as we have staff who are very skilled and capable of using technology.”
As the kura returns to normal the whānau have prioritised hauora in light of the impact of Covid-19 and the ongoing risks of the virus entering the country.
“Heoi anō, i roto i ngā tini āhuatanga o te wā, ko te mea nui mō te whānau ko te hauora tinana, ko te hauora hinengaro, ko te hauora wairua hoki,” te kii a Taiarahia Melbourne.
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