Video puts fo­cus on child poverty

Central Leader - - NEWS -

An an­i­mated video driv­ing home the im­por­tance of feed­ing kids break­fast has been re­leased by the Univer­sity of Auck­land.

The one minute 34 sec­ond video was put to­gether by In­vest­ing In Our Na­tion’s Kids – a re­search pro­ject that aims to ad­vance the im­me­di­ate pri­or­i­ties put for­ward in the Ex­pert Ad­vi­sory Group’s re­port to the Chil­dren’s Com­mis­sioner on child poverty so­lu­tions.

The video opens with the hard fact that more than one in four Kiwi kids lives in poverty.

‘‘That’s 270,000 chil­dren, enough to fill our big­gest rugby sta­dium 51⁄ times,’’ it says.

The clip goes on to dis­cuss how hunger af­fects chil­dren’s ca­pa­bil­ity for learn­ing and the mer­its of a na­tion­ally sup­ported break­fast club pro­gramme.

The video is the brain­child of Siouxsie Wiles, a mi­cro­bi­ol­o­gist from the univer­sity who is work­ing with Welling­ton­based an­i­ma­tors Mo­hawk Me­dia.

Dr Wiles says many Ki­wis don’t know poverty is a huge is­sue here.

‘‘It plays a ma­jor role in our hor­ren­dous rates of in­fec­tious dis­eases,’’ she says.

‘‘We are hop­ing the an­i­ma­tions will raise aware­ness of not only the num­ber of Kiwi kids liv­ing in poverty, but how we can get them out of poverty.’’

She says if the Govern­ment, busi­nesses and whanau all acted to­gether ‘‘we could pull those 270,000 kids out of poverty and let them ful­fil their po­ten­tial’’.

Es­ti­mates for im­ple­ment­ing food in schools pro­grammes range from $5 mil­lion to $10m a year.

Food pro­grammes not only pro­mote a healthy diet but also im­prove chil­dren’s at­ten­dance, be­hav­iour and abil­ity to learn.

The an­i­ma­tion is the sec­ond of its kind – the first video re­leased in April ad­dressed the need for a war­rant of fit­ness for hous­ing.

Rais­ing aware­ness: Dr Siouxsie Wiles says many peo­ple don’t re­alise how big an is­sue child poverty in New Zealand is.

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