Working Together for Child Safety

Recipients: Kidpower Teenpower Fullpower Trust, Nelson Tasman Pasifika Community Trust and Congregational Christian Church of Samoa Nelson

Along with partners Nelson Tasman Pasifika Community Trust (Pasifika Trust) and Congregational Christian Church of Samoa Nelson (CCCS), Kidpower Teenpower Fullpower Trust (Kidpower) shares a common interest in ensuring people achieve their full potential. Together they decided to build on an earlier project funded by the Working Together More Fund by fine-tuning a multi-lingual safety programme. The objective was to teach child safety skills to the Samoan community in a way that acknowledged the cultural norms and retained the unique family values.

Programme Director of Kidpower, Cornelia Baumgartner, says “The programme involved developing practical and positive violence prevention tools and skills in everyday life. It provides a safe forum to discuss tapu issues, to challenge cultural perspectives, discuss and find solutions to sexual abuse, and instils parenting and safety skills using Kidpower’s Positive Practice™ Teaching Method delivered by community teachers.

The earlier funded pilot of the bi-lingual Samoan programme and resources was to be replicated in at least two other Pasifika communities.

To implement this project, the partners successfully applied to the WTMF for $6,000 toward the overall cost of $55,220, with the balance provided from other philanthropic funders.

Nelson Tasman Pasifika Trust, General Manager and project manager, Jennifer Beatson, says “As a result of this project, the community was enabled to talk openly about parenting and discipline in a Samoan/NZ context.  At the heart of every family are the children and so the community was motivated to look at issues not normally discussed.  The community acknowledged both the similarities and differences created by being a translocated population. This meant openness, sharing, support and recognition that things have to change and there might be a better way.”

These benefits, Jennifer and Cornelia believe, came through the development process and the community taking “ownership” of the programme and considering what is best for children. In a culture where hierarchy and respect are inherent, it also gave children a forum to have a voice – one which still showed respect for parents and adults.

Cornelia says keys to project success were the established communication lines and a strong effective group structure of the Samoan Church. This lead to community leaders “buying into” and making decisions about the programme early in the process. “A highly capable and connected Pasifika project manager was crucial in maintaining a stable and continuous relationship between stakeholders who were also faced with many other demands on their time” she says.

Kidpower now has a better awareness of Pasifika culture while Pasifika Trust has gained new project management and service delivery methods and tools. The support of all three partners was crucial to the success of the process.

Challenges faced included over-commitment of volunteers, which at times slowed the momentum, Jennifer and Cornelia report. Because of the scale of the project, it took longer than expected to work out manageable terms of reference. They noted that the process however created excellent levels of trust.

Learnings from this project include allowing time to sort teething problems before “going big”. Critical to their success was bringing stakeholders together early, making allowances for possible attrition such as loss of key volunteers – and the need to re-train new ones. Also being open and not assuming anything. “And” says Jennifer, “open communication and organisation within the project team are critical to success.  Planning, record keeping and accountability are lynch pins”

Jennifer says: “Our community appreciates and acknowledges the WTM funders, other funders and our partners, Kidpower. This collaboration has had a direct impact on the capability of the Pasifika community, allowing us to start to take responsibility for our own outcomes.”

Where to now? Cornelia and Jennifer say the partners aim to continue working together and to run follow-up training sessions. “We hope to take the programme to other parts of New Zealand and develop the engagement model to the point where it can be applied to other programmes”.

For further information contact Cornelia Baumgartner, NZ Programme Director, Kidpower Teenpower Fullpower Trust: E:   P: 03-543 2669

kidpower-Download a copy of the case study (PDF)