Social justice in the time of COVID-19
Apr 17, 2020 - Voices
At Ako Mātātupu, like the rest of the country, we have been figuring out how best to navigate the current crisis caused by the global COVID-19 Pandemic. CEO Jay Allnutt discusses the implications for the organisation, and the communities we look to serve.
At Ako Mātātupu, like the rest of the country, we have been figuring out how best to navigate the current crisis caused by the global Covid-19 Pandemic. We’re grateful to our staff and Board, our funders, and our supporters for helping us to do this.
As we prepared for a potential lockdown in the early weeks of March, we knew that this time would challenge the core values of our organisation. One of our core values is ‘Teu le vā’ – the commitment to honouring and fostering the relationships that connect us – which has become so much more difficult to live into whilst keeping a ‘social distance’. But as a social justice organisation, we knew in those early weeks, and we feel even more deeply now, that it is incumbent upon us to keep working and fighting; to protect our whānau, and protect our kaupapa.
During the lockdown, we are continuing to support, with our tertiary partner, The Mind Lab, our 126 Participants who are in their first or second year of our flagship Programme, employed by schools serving low-income communities across Aotearoa. I can’t imagine the challenge of being an early career teacher working towards registration and having to learn the brand new skill of teaching children remotely. We are honoured to work with these people, and the many other teachers and school leaders, who are squaring up to this challenge.
In a sea of uncertainty, one thing at least is clear: the hardest hit by this global pandemic and lockdown will be those who were already least served by society. Economic and educational inequality has pervaded for generations, and will only be exacerbated through the impending economic downturn, and by schools being closed. However necessary this lockdown has been in order to protect our country and our people, the ramifications will mean that those who have least will fall further behind. Those who are least well placed to access and navigate education, will be even less well placed to do so – notwithstanding the superhuman efforts that so many within schools, the government, charities and businesses are making to address this.
For that reason, we are resolute in our commitment to our kaupapa and our vision. We are continuing to recruit our next cohort of outstanding people who share the vision of an Aotearoa in which every young person has what they need to fulfil their potential.
This kaupapa has never felt more urgent.
Introducing our new Board Chair, Dr. Jim Mather!Voices
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