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Children’s Commissioner lays down challenges to charity

Children’s Commissioner lays down challenges to charity

Tuesday 17 July 2018

New Zealand’s Children’s Commissioner Judge Andrew Becroft commended Life Education Trust on their work with children when he attended their national conference in Rotorua over the weekend.

However, Judge Becroft issued a challenge to the organisation to consider what further work it can do to understand the impact of poverty on children growing up in New Zealand today.

“I am hugely impressed with your work. You are the unsung heroes of early childhood and youth development,” he said.

Judge Becroft described Life Education Trust as “front line crime fighters” in regards to children’s health and well-being education and early prevention.

Through a close connection to Life Education’s Founder Trevor Grice, he spoke of visiting one of Life Education Trust’s mobile classrooms in Whanganui in 1996 as a District Court Judge. Judge Becroft said he realised the potential Life Education had for early intervention in mental health and well-being education years ago.

The Commissioner supported the organisation’s vision to “enable all children to reach their full potential,” and acknowledged Life Education do well in reaching a large number of that segment already.

But he also laid down the challenge for the organisation to ensure it was child centred and included children’s voice in its plans.

Life Education Trust Chief Executive John O’Connell said the Trust plays a significant role in educating children across New Zealand and the Commissioner’s words were a great reminder of the work Life Education does, and the impact it has.

“For 30 years we’ve had enormous success in growing our reach from nothing to 250,000 children in 1,400 schools a year but Judge Becroft’s certainly planted some challenges for us to consider as we look ahead and how we can best support children and youth growing up in New Zealand today.”

Over 140 Educators and Trustees from the charity attended the conference in Rotorua during the weekend.

The Commissioner spoke of issues around child poverty and the environment we live in today. A world where sugary drinks are cheaper than water, and a world where for the first time - parents have a high chance of outliving their children. He left with the words, “you can have a life changing influence.”


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