Stand up Papakura and take a bow!

Crowd at the Whanau Fun Day

Crowd at the Whanau Fun Day

On the 20th of September the Papakura Marae  hosted a fun day to celebrate the family and its community. There were many exhibitors who all work in a multitude of roles to create safe families. I spoke on behalf of White Ribbon, supported by Maurice Tarei. We spent some three hours mingling with the crowd, talking about what the White Ribbon means and supporting the various organisations present. They included the Police, Suicide Prevention and support groups, help with alcohol related issues, gambling, health, budgeting, child care and many more. Some were small local groups that supported their own Island and ethnic people. Representatives from several churches, and medical groups were all in there.

For me one of the groups that struck a chord was called “No Bull”, an anti-bullying group that worked a program with schools and community groups. One of their sponsors supplied a truckload of new shoes to be given away and those shoes to some of those families would have been a luxury. A cynic would say that the families only queued for the free shoes, but the cynic would have taken no notice of the “No Bull” staff giving counsel to lone children and family groups.

Considering the day’s weather was constantly battering everyone with wind and at times torrential rain, you would be excused to believe that people would have stayed at home. Not so in Papakura! The Marae was heaving with people of all ages and cultures. The atmosphere was positive and welcoming. The only casualty was the forgotten bouncy castle!

After three hours my voice was croaky and my need was for a cup of tea.

The strength of community support in Papakura is an example for others to follow.

David White
White Ribbon Ambassador

About whiteribbonnz
White Ribbon is a community led campaign to end men's violence towards women

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