Marama Davidson, Green Party Co-leader, today met with VOYCE – Whakarongo Mai – having an engaging and heartfelt discussion with two of the young people behind the 6 PROMISES for 6000, Tupua Urlich and Fatima Abdallah. Marama let the organisation know that she is particularly heartbroken by the generational trauma that has happened at the hands of the state, “In my life and career, it has always been, and will continue to be a priority for me, to do everything we can to resource the care and support that is needed for all families and all parents to keep all children safe.”
Fatima spoke passionately about her own care experience and how a lot of what she went through would not have happened if the system actually worked as it should. Tupua said, “So often we aren’t seen as young people, we are just numbers in a system.”
He further appealed, “If any piece of paper comes across your desk that does not speak to these 6 promises, please do not support it. For the 6000 plus young people that are relying on our leaders to provide them with a system that nurtures then, that keeps them safe, that shows them what love is, if it speaks to these 6 promises, then please get behind it.”
Marama responded by saying that she wished Tupua could look every politician in the eye and say that to them. She welcomed the critical insight provided by the lived experience of the young people behind these promises and the collective action of people everywhere getting behind the petition. “We must make it politically unacceptable for anyone in power to accept anything less than these 6 promises.” She encouraged the young people, “You should feel entitled to challenge those in power because what you are doing is holding us to account on behalf of the 6000 plus children in state care.”
Marama responded to VOYCE after a personal letter of appeal was sent by some of the young people behind this petition.
On Wednesday 09 September 2020, VOYCE – Whakarongo Mai launched a petition on OurActionStation www.bit.ly/6-promises(currently tracking at close to 3000 signatures), looking for a groundswell movement of people across Aotearoa asking all New Zealand elected representatives sign up to 6 PROMISES FOR 6000 to ensure the care system becomes a truly caring system. Full details of the drive thus far can be found here: https://voyce.org.nz/6-promises-for-6000/
VOYCE – Whakarongo Mai was created by children with care experience for children with care experience. Established in 2017, VOYCE is an independent organisation that helps to advocate for the approximately 6000 young people young children living with whanau or foster families, all over New Zealand. We see the potential, abilities and strengths apparent in these children and young people every day. We exist to amplify the voices of tamariki and rangatahi and ensure they are at the centre of all conversations and decisions being made within the care sector.