Press Release – Buddy Day
A major child abuse awareness day is taking place in and around Hamilton tomorrow, 18 November. ‘Buddy Day,’ is thought to be the first of its type in New Zealand. The event is involving thousands in the community – in the towns of Ngaruawahia, …17 November 2011
Waikato public invited to commemorate New Zealand’s first child abuse awareness day in Hamilton, 18 November
Hamilton, New Zealand – A major child abuse awareness day is taking place in and around Hamilton tomorrow, 18 November. ‘Buddy Day,’ is thought to be the first of its type in New Zealand. The event is involving thousands in the community – in the towns of Ngaruawahia, Huntly, Hamilton and Cambridge.
180 life-size cut-outs of children have been dressed by schools, childcare centres and art groups. And, tomorrow, Friday, they will be adopted by 180 adult ‘Caregivers’ who will look after them for the day.
The ‘Buddy caregivers’ will be asked to take their ‘Buddies’ with them the entire day tomorrow. It is hoped that with so many child buddies being visible throughout Hamilton and surrounding towns on the day 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.
The 180 cardboard ‘Buddies’ represent 10% – 1800 – of the child abuse cases substantiated in the Waikato last year.
A public commemoration event will take place in Garden Place, Hamilton at 5:30pm on Friday 18 November. Everyone in the community is invited to attend and show support for Buddy Day. All 180 Buddies will stand together in Garden Place from 5pm in a stunning visual display that will be a reminder of the issue of child abuse and how the local community is looking after our children.
Buddy Day is supported by WEL Energy Trust, Lion Foundation, Bryant Trust, Hamilton, Waikato-Tainui, Te Puni Kokiri, Longveld Engineering, PSP Plastic and Convex Plastic.
National child advocacy organisation, Child Matters, has provided leadership, information and support for this community-wide awareness day.
The public can watch the event unfold throughout the day at www.facebook.com/buddydaynz .