WHERE THE TEDZ PROJECT BEGAN

In 2012 the wonderful Suzy Brown, one of our four founding members began the 4thekidz project in the Bay of Plenty District. This was after recognising that there was a gap in the system and an opportunity to offer comfort to a child in the way of soft toys when they had suffered some form of trauma.

Since launching 4thekidz Charitable Trust, the Tedz Project has expanded to include the idea of Care Packs.  We are currently working on our mission to take this project to the entire country.

HOW IT ALL WORKS

Children affected by abuse will in some instances need to be interviewed by a specialist child interviewer. This may be carried out by a Police Officer or a specialised staff member from the Ministry for Vulnerable Children/Oranga Tamariki.

At the conclusion of the interview and if it is deemed appropriate the interviewing officer allows the child to select a pack or soft toy that appeals to them.

It is important to note that the child is not made aware of this until after the interview process is completed and at no time are we as volunteers involved. We do not meet these children and we do not interfere with this process.

If the child has siblings a pack can also be supplied for them.

BENEFITS OF THE PROJECT

Many Foster parents have told us how useful these items can be for the child. Some of these children will not be returning home and often when a child is uplifted, they are uplifted from everything.  They may not have their favourite toy or anything familiar.

Research shows that when a child is able to attach to an object the healing process begins much quicker.

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

People can go and pick out a new soft toy or item that says something to them and pass that on to us, we can then share it with a child who really needs it. It is not about a generic thoughtless gift.  A crafter can make a gorgeous knitted teddy or crochet a blanket.  We also graciously accept Peggy squares, that later, will be assembled into blankets.

CHILD ABUSE PREVENTION

4thekidz aims to raise awareness of child abuse. 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys are abused by the time they turn 18.

You may be asking how this is preventing abuse, when the abuse has already occurred. Abuse is a cycle and these children will grow up to be parents one day. This is a great opportunity to show these kids they are worthy, they matter and that we as a community care about them.  These children are being acknowledged instead of remaining invisible.

We use this project as an opportunity to educate the public on child abuse reduction strategies. How to see the signs, speak up and stop the abuse.