Kids Can help keeps kiwi kids in school

Kids CanWith worsening levels of poverty in New Zealand teachers are finding students searching through rubbish bins for food and taking turns to attend school as they have to share their shoes.

In the frontline providing practical and effective help since 2005, the founder of KidsCan Julie Helson is seeing the poverty problem becoming progressively worse with 270,000 New Zealand children now in families receiving inadequate incomes.

Supported by generous sponsors, the KidsCan Charitable Trust provides food, shoes and raincoats for the pupils of low decile schools across New Zealand in order to stop the cycle of poverty leading to more educational failure and deprivation.

“Teachers are telling of us of catching kids eating out of rubbish bins, and sometimes, the children who do bring their lunch have it stolen by others who have not eaten for more than 24 hours,” says Julie Helson. “A teacher who asked why two brothers were never at school together was told the family could only afford one pair of shoes so they had to take turns to attend.”

“There are many kids failing to make the most of our community investment in education, not for want of trying but because they lack the sustenance and warmth needed to learn. And it’s just not their fault.”

Since 2005, KidsCan has been meeting the physical and nutritional needs of Kiwi kids at more than 200 schools by supplying food, raincoats and footwear. As a result of this practical support schools report attendance rates have increased, as have their children’s attention spans.

“They are learning – they have a better chance,” says Julie Helson. “But the principals of another 109 schools have told KidsCan they also have children who need help to overcome the effects of poverty on their ability to learn.”

By supporting KidsCan with a monthly donation of $15, donors give schools the opportunity to provide the needed food and clothing to enable Kiwi kids to help themselves to an education and a better future.

“As teachers constantly remind us, being low decile should not be a life sentence,” says Julie Helson. “Our kids are not too stupid to learn, they are just hungry, and this problem can be solved at very little costs for each child we save.”

To sign up to support a New Zealand children visit

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