On 28 Feb 2017, Tawa Rotary was given an insight into the activities of Foster Hope NZ - an organization set up in 2010. June Matthews, recently appointed Regional Co-ordinator, spoke to the Club meeting. June’s role is a voluntary one, looking after an area from Taranaki, across to Hawke’s Bay and down to Wellington. She became involved after her sister had recently begun taking in foster children – her mother is also involved with the group, so a real family affair.Foster Hope is not involved with the actual fostering of children, but rather with supporting the families who take in children, and the children themselves. June noted some 5000 children are under CYFS (Child, Youth & Family Service) care – with ages ranging from babies to 16 year olds. A significant activity in supporting foster parents and the children is the provision of ‘backpacks’. Contents of the pack vary according to the ages of the children. Children frequently arrive at a foster home with literally the clothes they are wearing and that’s it. The ‘backpacks’ are for the children to keep and contents range from nappies, through toiletries, toothbrushes, books, soft toys and often some items of clothing, pyjamas and such like. Xmas gifts also feature. June highlighted the activity of preparing 800 ‘backpacks’ in one session – no mean feat! Within her region they are fortunate in having a donor who provides them with two storage units as a base for their activities.
Foster Hope is continually on the lookout for supplies of items and also cash donations which are very helpful. With the number of children in foster care there will always be a need for Foster Hope.
Rotarian, John Melville
John's 3 minute talk introduced his fascinating working life as an Actuary.
Actuaries predict and assess the financial risks and impacts of future events. They work in areas such as insurance, superannuation and investment. He spoke on encouraging people to be involved in this career. If you are a mathematical genius, a love of logic, have problem solving skills with business awareness, good in communication and excellent in number crunching, think of a career as an actuary today.