At first, it seems unbelievable to me that child poverty in New Zealand is quite serious. A recent study revealed that about “270,000 live in households where incomes fall below recognised poverty thresholds”.
I heard it from the news. Then Cambell Live, a popular current affairs programme in New Zealand, took time to confirm what the child poverty study results say.
When the TV show documented what the kids in decile 10 and decile 1 schools were having for lunch, I was quite shocked watching the big difference.
While decile 10 pupils enjoyed the choices of fruits, sandwiches, sausages, bread and biscuits in their lunch boxes, pupils in the decile 1 group had almost none. Unbelievable but true!
To realize clearly what I’m saying, you’ve got to watch the video by clicking on the link below…
As the Cambell live video camera panned the empty tables of decile 1 pupils, I can’t help but be heartbroken for these children.
Also, I can’t imagine how one pupil, even if he or she had only chips or soda for lunch would eat while around him or her had none.
The most common reaction would be to say that the parents of these poor children were remiss of their responsibilities. However, granting if their parents indeed are irresponsible, will society let them suffer?
I agree with Campbell’s view that something has to be done to address the issue because it’s not the children’s fault when they are in hunger or poor condition.
This viewer’s comment expresses my personal conviction:
“I agree that SOME parents need to rethink their spending but there are so many good parents out there who do care and they are being lumped under the same umbrella. In order to truly understand how these families are living you have to walk a mile in their shoes, until then it’s all just speculation. This is a vicious cycle that just repeats itself from one generation to the next. The only way we can change this is if ALL NZders pull their heads out of the sand, stop pointing fingers at the poor, the government, and anyone else they can blame and instead, offer a helping hand in whatever way they can.”
Campbell Live and KidsCan held “Lunchbox Day” on September 28. Schools, businesses, and communities held fund raising programs. The event raised the over $300,000 and still counting.
They are aiming for $1.8 million, the budget needed to give school lunches for children in decile one through four schools.
Indeed, the Lunchbox Day became a “celebration of community and kindness” as Campbell Live and KidsCan vision it to be.[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GsSK59THwCc&w=640&h=360]