Growing kai for the community

Growing kai for the community

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Growing kai for the community

Due to a steady rise in the need for essentials for whānau in the South Auckland community, Barnardos Manurewa Early Learning Centre is excited to be setting up new garden beds to provide extra kai for tamariki and their whānau, thanks to the support of Whenua Warriors.

“We already had some garden beds, but we received an email from Whenua Warriors to sign up for their Project South Side 600+ to get some new ones, which we did,” explains Suzanne Fraser, Manuwera Early Learning Centre Manager.

“We were thrilled to hear we would be recipients of new garden beds. This means we now have planter boxes to grow our own veggies to provide more for our growing tamariki and South Auckland community.”

“For us, it is important to grow kai at our centre as we see a steady rise in the need for essentials with some of the whānau and within the community.”

“The overall goal with the garden beds is to provide a community kai box right outside of our centre, that everyone in the community can access, including tamariki in our centre and the local primary school. We are so grateful to Whenua Warriors.”

Having the additional harvest of veggies will make a big difference and help alleviate some of the pressures whānau in Manuwera are going through, including those brought about by the rising costs of fresh food.

Tamariki at the centre will be able to learn how to grow veggies and how to keep a garden in a sustainable way. This will also support their learning about the importance of making healthy food choices and kaitiakitanga concept and practices of protecting and looking after the environment.

This green innitiative is one of the many set up at the centre to support tamariki and their whānau. Barnardos Manuwera Centre is quite unique in the sense that it provides a lot more than early childhood services to the community.

From offering 30 hours of subsidised early learning for tamariki a week, to fully-cooked breakast, lunch and snacks for tamariki, and food and fuel parcels to whānau during COVID-19 lockdowns, the team is doing everything they can to support tamariki and their whānau.

“Alongside our early learning provision, we also provide Te Korowai Mokopuna. Te Korowai Mokopuna is a service where whānau in our centre may need additional support. With the help of Kaimanaaki Whānau workers based in the centre, we are able to provide them guidance and support right from drop off to pick up,” says Suzanne.

Barnardos runs Te Korowai Mokopuna across four early learning services in South Auckland, in Christchurch and Gisborne. Kaimanaaki Whānau workers offer needs-driven, wrap-around support, primarily for early learning families and for other whānau in the wider community who face multiple issues. Their support helps them to navigate and overcome challenges so their children can have the best possible start in life.

Barnardos Early Learning Services is the largest not-for-profit provider in Aotearoa where all the revenue goes back to their early learning services. It is part of the wider Barnardos whānau – New Zealand’s leading children’s charity, working across child and family services, early learning services and advocacy of children’s rights and wellbeing.