Singing the song of hope: KidsCan turns to waiata to understand Māori

Every day the team at KidsCan try to bridge the poverty divide by feeding and clothing thousands of kids across the country.

Their goal is to give tamariki a fighting chance at a better education and future.

But they're also educating themselves. CEO and founder Julie Chapman wants to connect to the whānau and communities Kidscan serves on a deeper level, and that means gaining a deeper understanding of the Māori culture.

"We feel as an organisation we want to give back and demonstrate that we are committed to understanding culture and also taking that journey."

She enlisted the help of consultant Breviss Wolfgramm.

"I said to Julie, 'Do you want to be involved with more Māori schools?' and she said yes. I said, 'Best you have your own waiata then.'"

With that goal in mind, Wolfgramm organised te reo tuition for Kidscan staff.

The hard work was realised last week when they held a wānanga at an Auckland marae to compose their waiata.

Chapman says it's been a powerful experience for her team.

"Developing the waiata has been an amazing experience for us as an organisation, not only do we end up with this amazing beautiful song with amazing words, but it's brought us closer together as a team as well.

"So I would recommend it to anyone, actually.

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