A sponsorship programme used to feed starving children in Third World countries is now being used to help poor Kiwi kids.
Children’s charity Variety has launched a scheme that allows people to sponsor an individual Kiwi child living below the poverty line for $35 a month, or about $1.15 a day.
The money will pay for things such as school trips, stationery, doctor’s visits, books and prescriptions.
How much worse does this situation have to get before the government steps in and actually does it’s job? This is a huge violation of the social contract that we are all bound to. We, the people, pay taxes, in return the government is there to protect us. That is how First World countries maintain their status as a First World country.
The fact that there are 270,000 children living in poverty right now shows the gravity of the problem. According to the last census in 2006, the total population in New Zealand was 4,027,947. That was projected to have risen to 4,405,200 by 2011. Children under 15 years of age were projected to total 893,700. So that’s a staggering 30%. Almost a third of this country’s children. I’m embarrassed. That’s far too many to just be put down to parents not doing a good enough job looking after their children.
And the fact that this isn’t even the first charity program to be launched to attempt to cover this need. KidsCan has had one running for nearly a decade, to ensure that at least some children have access to the necessities that some of us take for granted. Even Fonterra got involved by starting their Milk for Schools program.
The government shouldn’t just be standing back, letting charities and businesses fill in the gaps that they continue to ignore. The lack of effective response to the current housing crisis, particularly in Christchurch and Auckland, certainly isn’t helping the whole situation. They need to get their shit together. At least try to develop a more effective way to combat the increasing unemployment that isn’t just finding ways to exclude people from being eligible (it’s now at 7.3%). Change policies so that the minimum wage is raised to something that is actually a living wage, so people can start to actually support themselves and their families, as well as providing extra support for those still in need. It’s disgusting.
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That Girl, Fae by R Simpson-Large aka Fae Teardrop is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 New Zealand License.