Te Ora Hou Aotearoa Inc
Te Ora Hou Aotearoa (TOHA) is using a neighbourhood approach as its new initiative, Tiakina o Tātou Tamariki (Keep Kids Safe) with the firm belief that friendliness and trust between neighbours is the surest way to do it. They say the approach is tried and true and has been found to change norms of parental behaviour for the better.
The project is being trialled in three North Island suburbs with very high incidences of child maltreatment, youth offending, family and street violence, and large number of young people and Māori. TOHA draws on its many volunteers and workers who know and live in these communities to spread the word - look out for each other. They say it is already bearing fruit, although expect rebuilding social cohesion to take 5 - 10 years. Although one area survey showed that three quarters of residents rarely invited a neighbour home, there was nevertheless a strong desire to get people together.
In Tiakina o Tātou Tamariki TOHA volunteers take an active interest in individual families, and facilitate activities and events that encourage neighbours to care for each other and use their own assets and resources. Activities provide settings in which the core message is naturally absorbed, people feel less isolated, families are bought together, and generosity, hospitality, reciprocity and leadership are modelled and encouraged. Though the ultimate goal is the safety and care of children, the main thrust is towards parents and extended whānau.
TOHA is a network of Māori oriented, faith-based community organisations that has been working with hundreds of volunteers and thousands of young people and families in deprived areas for more than 30 years.