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Tamariki get opportunity to speak out on Ka Ora, Ka Ako, Healthy School Lunches Programme

Child rights organisation Save the Children is on a mission to ensure children’s voices are heard on any proposed changes to Ka Ora, Ka Ako, Healthy School Lunches programme.

As part of its ‘Children’s Voices’ project, the child rights organisation is giving Auckland tamariki an opportunity to have their say on the programme in a polling booth experience at this weekend’s Kids Only Market, held at Mt Albert War Memorial Hall in Tāmaki Makaurau. Children can have their say on whether they support the programme and why, and what could be done to improve it.

“Despite being most directly impacted by any changes to Ka Ora, Ka Ako, children have not been meaningfully consulted,” says Save the Children New Zealand Advocacy Director Jacqui Southey.

“The views and opinions of children and young people matter – and ensuring those voices are heard is a fundamental right. During our Children’s Elections last year, many tamariki were vocal about the importance of healthy lunches in schools and were eager to share their ideas on how the programme could be strengthened and improved.

“We want to build on these views and offer children an opportunity to share their insights, which we will then share with decision-makers.”

Young people, schools and families from outside of Auckland can also get involved through an online polling form available here.

Last year, Save the Children held children’s elections in the lead-up to Aotearoa’s General Election where more than 1000 children cast their votes on their preferred Prime Minister and shared their views on what the next Prime Minister should do to make New Zealand a better place for children.

In the feedback, many children expressed a desire to ensure the school lunch programme continues, and that the lunches improve to be more delicious and nutritious. They were concerned for children who may not have access to food, and see this as a way of addressing food insecurity.

For instance, 13-year-old Jacob said: “To give school lunches to schools because not many parents are able to provide their kids with lunches”, while 12-year-old Kyle said: “I would like the next Prime Minister to be helpful of New Zealand and put/bring better food for schools and get free lunch for every school.”

Children wanting to cast a vote at the Save the Children voting booth can do so at the Kids Only Market, organised by the Creative Kids Collection, which will be held between 10am-1pm at Mt Albert War Memorial Hall. Schools wanting to get involved can go to Children’s Voices 2024 – Free School Lunches

 

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