Not one more generation of disadvantaged children and youth

Jun 26, 2020

This week, the Spend My Super blog features PARS and our commitment to stemming the tide of intergenerational cycles of disadvantage.

25 JUNE 2020

Kiwi children living in poverty is an unacceptable reality, and the needs of our most vulnerable only become more-so during challenging and unprecedented times such as those in which we are currently living. However, while some of us are only experiencing real isolation, separation and lack for the first time, for many, this is their day-to-day reality. Isolated from services, isolated from support, isolated from nurturing and the innate human need for connection with others. If many felt a little ‘stir-crazy’ during lockdown, imagine what a lifetime of isolation in its many guises can do to us when we are denied our most basic needs.

Spend My Super charity partner PARS, People at Risk Solutions, is an NGO with over 140 years’ experience in delivery services within the justice system, and we are committed to making a long-term difference for the children and young people in Aotearoa. These times in which we find ourselves may be unprecedented, but the need for our services remains the same: Providing interventions that will positively impact the lives of New Zealanders for generations to come.

PARS works with at-risk youth and their whānau, to collectively heal the mamae (pain) caused by the many forms of disadvantage they have experienced. Our approach is based on our belief that we are the kaitiaki (caretakers) of the precious taonga (treasures) that are our children and young people. Our approach is holistic; addressing not just the need for food, clothing and shelter, but also the intergenerational poverty of the mind, the spirit, the body.

Today, we are focused on supporting those who are already in the pipeline of disadvantage, and into the future we aspire to diversify our services to help prevent young people from entering the pipeline in the first place – to forever improve the trajectory of the lives of our young people by prioritising the youth voice, youth justice and positive youth development principles.

The guiding principles of our Ecology of Care, Te Pā Tūwatawata (Te Pā), are underpinned by enhancing the mana of all we work with, and a key driver is to remove isolation. Te Pā is a space of support, whanaungatanga (connection and shared experiences), access to resources and a therapeutic environment that enables change, and the restoration and healing of intergenerational trauma.

With the support of our donors and stakeholders, the dedication of our team, and the hard work of our clients and their whānau, we are moving ever closer to our vision of a living, thriving ecology of care that heals, restores and transforms: All of us working together to provide Aotearoa’s children of today and tomorrow a fairer and brighter future.

Tangata ako ana i te kāenga, te tūranga ki te marae, tau ana.

A person nurtured in the community contributes strongly to society.