180 Buddies born at Longveld Engineering

Press Release – Buddy Day

180 ‘children’ were born this week at Longveld Engineering. Each of them will be participating in a major child abuse awareness day planned for the Waikato on 18 November. The event, Buddy Day, is the first of its type in New Zealand.28 October 2011

180 Buddies born at Longveld Engineering

Hamilton, New Zealand – 180 ‘children’ were born this week at Longveld Engineering. Each of them will be participating in a major child abuse awareness day planned for the Waikato on 18 November.

The event, Buddy Day, is the first of its type in New Zealand. The 180 life-size corflute children, which were cut out by Longveld Engineering in Hamilton this week, will be dressed by school children prior to the event, and a nominated adult ‘caregiver’ will look after them for the day.

The 180 cardboard ‘Buddies’ represent 10% – 1800 – of the substantiated child abuse cases in the Waikato last year.

Invitations to participate went out to schools and potential caregivers two weeks ago from Ngaruawahia to Cambridge. So far, around 140 schools and other organisations have stepped forward to decorate the Buddies. Around 100 business, community and political leaders have confirmed they will adopt a child on the day of the 18th.

Organisers are still looking for more decorators and caregivers to confirm their participation by 1 November.

The ‘Buddy caregivers’ will be asked to take their ‘Buddies’ with them the entire day on 18 November. It is hoped that with so many child buddies being visible throughout Hamilton, Huntly and Ngaruawahia in various work places and public areas, it will initiate conversations about child abuse and what all adults need to do to help prevent it.

Buddy Day is supported by WEL Energy Trust, Lion Foundation, Bryant Trust, Tainui and Hamilton. All materials, design and production for the corflute cutouts have been donated by PSP Plastics, Longveld Engineering and Convex Plastics.

Organisers are using Facebook (www.facebook.com/buddydaynz ) extensively during the planning phase of the event to provide up-to-the-minute publicity of how the day is unfolding.

Anyone in the Waikato wishing to be involved in the day as either a Buddy decorator or caregiver should contact buddyday@childmatters.org.nz

ENDS

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