© New Zealand Broadcasting School 2021

EnviroKids - children becoming Kaitiaki

Jen Black
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Sarah Goldberg and Kat Miller  Jen Black

Kat Miller has plans to create awareness around environmental issues and teach children about what they can do to help.

EnviroKids is a group created by Christchurch’s Envirohub to get more Kiwi kids connected with their surroundings.

Envirohub is the parent organisation with a network of over 40 groups working throughout Canterbury, and Miller saw a lot of the groups were stretched to their limit and needed extra help.

She also wanted to make children aware of the issues impacting nature and educate them on how they can help.

Groups within the Envirohub network will have the opportunity to teach the children that attend, or give resources to Envirokids facilitator Sarah Goldberg to teach them about what work they’re currently doing in the community.

"Connecting children to the environment and community and the community to children," Goldberg said. 

From that lesson, the children will become aware of various issues affecting the area around them and be given practical ways to help with what they have.

Goldberg stressed the club needed to be accessible to all.

She said children often felt overwhelmed by issues like climate change and felt there was not a lot they could do about it.

Goldberg wants to give children that agency and teach them how to become Kaitiaki (guardians) over the land in whatever way they can.

EnviroKids

They hope to keep costs minimal at this stage and see how it goes.

The attitude they’re hoping to instil in the community is to pay if you think the program is of value, and donate if you can a little extra to cover someone else's costs in the community.

Miller and Goldberg believe Envirokids should be available to all children and no-one should miss out due to financial circumstances.

Goldberg believes there will be a wellbeing effect on the children through the program.

"Through loving the earth and caring for it the earth will care for you."

She said taking part in a tree-planting exercise or cleaning up the environment can fill people with joy.

She emphasised the importance of going outside to connect with nature, which is known to be good for mental health.

Climate change and concerns for kids' futures are at the forefront of the program too. Miller says it’s important to educate children about what they can do to help to prevent possible environmental devastation.

This ties in with the wellbeing aspect - making them aware of the issues but also giving them ways to help was the solution, Goldberg said.

The Envirokids launch will take place tomorrow, Saturday May 15, from 10am to 3pm in the kiosk at the Christchurch Botanic Gardens. Children will be able to make their own Envirokids merch and take part in activities from organisations within the network.