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Kiwi Can - Turning Bullies into Friends

Kiwi Can - Turning Bullies into Friends

In a bid to raise awareness and reduce bullying in New Zealand schools, the Foundation for Youth Development (FYD) is launching their awareness campaign – Turning Bullies into Friends today.

This July, FYD and campaign ambassador, Bernice Mene are encouraging all New Zealanders to get behind them and help change a Kiwi kid’s life by donating $20 per month so they can run their Kiwi Can programme in more NZ schools.

45,000 Kiwi kids report being bullied every week and FYD are confident that their primary and intermediate school-based programme, Kiwi Can, plays an important role in ridding NZ schools of bullying.

FYD believes in early intervention and Bernice says Kiwi Can helps to reduce bullying in schools by teaching kids respect, how to treat each other with kindness, and real life strategies from an early age.

“Kiwi Can helps students to develop the tools and skills they need to make good decisions to overcome bullying,” she says. “FYD want to be in more schools around NZ reaching more Kiwi kids and to do that they need support.”

Kiwi Can currently supports over 15,000 primary school-aged children in almost 70 schools by teaching life skills and value lessons once a week, every week for the entire school year.

Through weekly lessons, students learn how to improve their communication skills, and how to work with each other better to build strong relationships and understanding.

11-year-old Kiwi Can student, Materori, says Kiwi Can has made a difference in her school by teaching everyone how to get along.

“A lot of bullying used to happen around the school and it used to be a normal thing so everyone would do it and it affected a lot of people,” she says. “Kiwi Can has made a huge difference because there is not much bullying happening, everyone gets along and no one is being left out.”

Ange Wihapi, principal of Materori’s school, Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Te Matai, in Te Puke has supported the programme since its introduction in 2012 and has seen first-hand the difference Kiwi Can has made.

“We had previous ERO reports that had identified bullying as an issue in our school,” she says. “Since we’ve had Kiwi Can, the bullying has almost been eliminated and the behaviour of our students has been great.”

The Turning Bullies into Friends campaign hopes to increase the awareness of the important work of Kiwi Can and raise funds to ensure the programme continues to reach more Kiwi kids.

Kiwi Can costs approximately $240 per student per year and is provided at no charge to the student. FYD is reliant on donations, volunteers, corporate sponsorship and philanthropy to keep this incredibly worthwhile programme running. From just $20 you can help change the life of a Kiwi kid like Materori and reduce bullying in schools.

What: Turning Bullies into Friends campaign

For: FYD’s Kiwi Can programme

Date: 1 July – 31 July 2014

Cost: From just $20, you can help change the life of a Kiwi kid like Materori and reduce bullying in schools.

To find out more and see Materori’s story, visit www.fyd.org.nz/bullying.


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