WELLINGTON, New Zealand — Meridian Energy has recently joined with children’s charity KidsCan in an anti-poverty partnership in New Zealand.
The company’s decision to become one of KidCan’s major sponsors allowed 62 schools to benefit from the charity. At this year’s Deloitte Energy Excellence Awards, this energy project will be up for an award.
Back in 2013, when Meridian originally signed up to become a KidsCan sponsor, the prolonged process left many families waiting to see results. After an 18-month wait, one school in particular was finally able to reap the benefits of the newly formed partnership.
Otahuhu Intermediate School was finally able to give jackets and food to students in need. For students who often turn up to school wet without raincoats, and hungry without being fed breakfast, this type of assistance can be life-changing.
Increased funding from Meridian gave KidsCan the ability to provide more hands-on, effectual assistance to schools like Otahuhu. By supplying the necessary funds for KidsCan, Meridian is helping the charity to provide basic necessities to impoverished children so that they can focus on their education.
Learning and Support Manager Grace Gemmel said that the school was already focusing on improving student engagement by providing free breakfast to the students through its Breakfast Club. With help from KidsCan, the school was presented with healthier, tastier food options to offer to the students.
The school’s principal, Brent Woods, thoughtfully explained, “We know poverty has a huge influence on students’ learning and affects them being in school. Hopefully agencies can alleviate the pressure on parents. We’re thankful that there are charities around that are supporting schools.”
After Meridian officially joined as a sponsor of KidsCan, the charity was suddenly able to offer assistance to more than 48,000 children in 341 schools across the country.
These numbers become even more impressive when considering the fact that one in four New Zealand children live in poverty. In addition to providing food and clothing to students in need, KidsCan has also been able to launch its Health for Kids program, which provides kids with basic treatments and health and hygiene items.
Meridian is now facing potential recognition for its leadership in the energy and electricity sector. At the Deloitte Energy Excellence Awards, established by Freeman Media publication Energy News, companies like Meridian are awarded for showing positive and beneficial work in the electricity, oil, gas and petroleum industries.
Since publicity in the industry often focuses on problems, the awards aim to bring positive attention to energy and electricity companies. After all, the New Zealand energy sector is an essential part of the country’s infrastructure. It is key to increasing the country’s national wealth.
Meridian’s assistance to KidsCan most definitely deserves some recognition. For the energy giant, however, it is not about the award, or the attention in the media; it is about bettering the lives of children in need and leading the charge in the anti-poverty fight.
– Sarah Bernard
Sources: Meridian Energy, Stuff.co.nz, NZ Herald