Press Release – Child Matters
Hamilton, New Zealand – 335 cardboard children have been tucked in for an early night at the Claudelands Event Centre in Hamilton in preparation for Buddy Day tomorrow (Friday, 16 November), New Zealand’s second annual child abuse awareness day which …Media Release
15 November 2012
Buddies get ready for their big Buddy Day
Hamilton, New Zealand – 335 cardboard children have been tucked in for an early night at the Claudelands Event Centre in Hamilton in preparation for Buddy Day tomorrow (Friday, 16 November), New Zealand’s second annual child abuse awareness day which is being held across the greater Waikato region and in pockets around New Zealand.
Event manager Janine Evans said Buddy Day was about the community coming together in a fun way to acknowledge every adult has a part to play in protecting children from abuse. “Our key message is: if you are worried about a child, speak up.”
Tomorrow the 335 cardboard ‘Buddies’ will wake early and be adopted by adult carers for the day. Starting with breakfast together, the Buddies will then be taken to work, meetings, lunch, shopping, sports games, and everywhere their carer goes for the day.
She said the response to Buddy Day had been overwhelmingly positive, and all 335 Buddies had been matched with a registered adult carer a week before the event.
“The requests have just kept coming in from around the country from people wanting to have a Buddy. We’ve accommodated as many people as we can – but we’ve had to turn some people away – and that’s a good thing because it’s a positive sign that New Zealand adults want to be involved and do more to prevent child abuse in New Zealand.”
She said Buddies had been adopted by people in Hamilton, Auckland, Ngaruawahia, Huntly, Tokoroa, Putaruru and Tauranga. Hundreds of supporters had requested mini buddies and Buddy Day merchandise from far as north as Kaitaia to Invercargill in the south.
Mrs Evans added that people adopting Buddies came from all walks of life, including prison guards, architects, chefs, bankers, politicians and business and community leaders.
She said Child Matters was working towards Buddy Day becoming a national event, and next year there would be more Buddies in more communities around New Zealand.
The Buddy Day Facebook page will be updated throughout the day, and people not participating in Buddy Day can follow it at www.facebook.com/buddydaynz