Partnering with Families
Helping change lives and reform society often starts with the youngest and most vulnerable in our community, and by extension, their families too.
In Christchurch there’s a community partnership with Kidsfirst Kindergartens Phillipstown. Child and Family Coordinator for The Salvation Army, Karen, spends a lot of time at the kindergarten, getting to know the children, their parents, and each of their unique needs. When required, she helps refer parents to services that will support and strengthen family wellbeing, like life skills and parenting programmes, or counselling and financial mentoring.
Head teacher Kathy Harford says her help’s been amazing. ‘It’s made a huge difference to a community like ours—it means that parents can come to kindy knowing they’re supported.’ There’s someone to talk to who understands the struggles of parenting, life in general and who engages, encourages, and mentors parents through the tough stuff.
With 67 Kindergartens in their network, Kidsfirst look forward to further links with the Salvation Army to benefit tamariki and whānau throughout Canterbury, the West Coast, and Central Otago.
Kathy says once families start getting support, it shows in how they come into Kindy, engage with other parents and especially in how they interact with their own children. ‘I said to one parent, “Your daughter seems a lot happier” and she said, “Yes now that I’m a lot happier, it’s made a big difference to her”.’
At Te Kura o Wairau School in Palmerston North, it’s music that’s helping transform the daily lives of the children. The Salvation Army’s Just Brass programme gives pupils the chance to learn a brass instrument, with free instruments, lessons and sheet music.
‘I can say with much pride and admiration that the Just Brass programme has made an enormous difference to the lives of those students who have taken part, and to the school as a whole,’ Principal Teena Johnson says. Not only does it give kids the opportunity to learn an instrument, but also to learn to care for and protect the instrument and the accompanying music, as well as to be part of a team. ‘Just Brass is all about providing hope and inspiration through music,’ says Teena, ‘and we are proud to be a part of this journey.’
Children and families are impacted through your generosity. Thank you. If you would like to continue supporting them on their positive journeys, please consider donating again today.