In New Zealand, the COVID-19 pandemic pushed 18,000 children into poverty, on top of the already large amount of children struggling with unmet basic needs. However, one organization, Share My Super, is working hard to change these statistics and reduce the number of impoverished children in New Zealand.
Impoverished Children in New Zealand
Against the backdrop of New Zealand’s 4.8 million population, more than 235,000 children lived in poverty before the pandemic’s effects. While reducing child poverty is one of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s signature goals, the country has only seen rising numbers of struggling children in recent years.
A recent study shows a 10% increase in child poverty due to the country’s pandemic policies, mostly impacting minority groups such as the Māori and Pasifika. The report lists several main reasons for child poverty in New Zealand including lack of government support, “unemployment and education disruptions” due to the COVID-19 pandemic and “inadequate income support for children.”
Share My Super
One organization, Share My Super, recognizes the detrimental effects of this issue and is working toward alleviating child poverty in New Zealand. Founded by Liz Greive, the organization functions by uniting citizens older than the retirement age of 65 and allowing them to share their leftover pensions with charities that are helping eliminate child poverty.
“I came to the conclusion that the most needy people in New Zealand, where real progress could be achieved, would be with children who were having a hard start,” Greive told The Spinoff, a New Zealand-based magazine. “I was well aware of the poverty that many people experience and how hard it is to raise a family when there is quite simply not enough money coming in.”
Share My Super hand-selects charities that it believes in and trusts for donors to donate to. The organization fosters relationships with these organizations and ensures that there is a variety of organizations, so people can choose to put their money toward immediate needs like shelter or food, or alternatively, they can put their money toward long-term solutions like mentorship or education.
Additionally, the organization receives 100% private funding. Therefore, the full donations go directly to the organization that the person chooses. Users also do not have to be at the retirement age to set up a donation — anyone can donate through Share My Super.
According to Share My Super’s 2020 Annual Report, the organization raised $294,296 in donations for charities through Superannuants, which refers to retirement-aged people donating their surplus pension through the organization. Share My Super also has benefits both ways: New Zealand’s children benefit and the country’s older population is also able to make a difference for the next generation. The organization also runs a blog detailing the tangible impacts of the charities on the country’s children so that the Superannuants can see the direct impact of their donations.
Although child poverty rates have been climbing in New Zealand, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, organizations like Share My Super are working to help impoverished children in New Zealand through donations, uniting the older generations with the younger generations.
– Laya Neelakandan