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Acts Of Kindness Beat Number Of COVID-19 Cases In NZ

An attempt to show the sheer magnitude of kindness in New Zealand has surpassed expectations. Since Amnesty International Aotearoa New Zealand launched The Big Kindness Count almost a month ago, people have recorded more than 16,000 acts of kindness, overtaking the number of COVID-19 cases within just the first few days.

From conversations between neighbouring teddy bears in house windows, to Kiwis providing food boxes, to businesses chipping in and NGOs helping communities in need, New Zealand has turned a daunting threat into acts of solidarity and hope.

Amnesty International Executive Director Meg de Ronde says people have connected like never before.

"We acknowledge these are trying times for many. But the past month has also been an inspiring display of humanity. New Zealanders have truly shown their capacity to care for one another. These 16,000-odd acts are a testament to the will of Kiwis to reach out and share aroha.

De Ronde says there was a huge range of acts of kindness logged on the site.

"What does it look like when humanity stays ahead of the COVID-19 curve during lockdown? It looks like people figuring out how Nana can get her weekly family fix, thousands of bouquets of flowers being given to workers in hospitals and retirement homes, advocates writing letters to free prisoners of conscience trapped in jails where they risk getting the disease, loving support for family members who are still going out to do essential service jobs, and anonymous angels making sidewalk-chalk adventures for bored neighbourhood kids."

De Ronde says she hopes the positives coming through now will continue.

"Compassion is the foundation for human rights. The Big Kindness Count has brought to the fore many of the ways people and organisations are showing it, and in the process, helping to create the kind of world we all want to live in - one where communities are being nurtured and where everyone's rights are equally important."

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