Ngā kórero mó mātou
Life Education Counties Manukau is a not for profit that educates, supports and empowers children to make healthy choices in all aspects of their lives so that they can go on living happy, full, healthy lives. Every year Life Education Counties Manukau teaches over 28,000 children about their body, friendships, their identity and food and nutrition.
Life Education Trust Counties Manukau was formed in late 2012 as a result of a collaboration between three existing Life Education Trusts. The area covers a large portion of Greater Auckland and is home to over half a million people.
A young, highly diverse and rapidly growing population live in the Counties Manukau area, sadly some of New Zealand’s worst health and housing statistics are found here. With over 14% of New Zealand’s children living in this area there is a high demand for the Life Education programme.
Harold the Giraffe is the mascot of Life Education. He works in the mobile classroom with the educator, to help encourage conversations with the students about situations they might find themselves in and how to act in a positive way when they do.
Harold is a friendly character, and children's responses show that Harold has a huge impact in re-enforcing the messages we teach:
Giraffes are tall.
- We teach children to stand tall and be proud of who they are.
The pattern on a giraffe's skin is unique, like a fingerprint.
- We teach children that they too are unique and special.
Giraffes have big hearts.
- We teach children to be kind to others.
Giraffes have long necks.
- We teach children to be prepared to stick their necks out and support their friends.
Our philosophy is the essence of everything that we do, our three philosophical principles are:
You are unique – we aim to make each child comfortable with their identity. In the whole world there will never be another you. You are unique; you are special. It's OK to have freckles, be tall or short, have big ears or nose, different coloured skin or hair. We keep reinforcing to little children "you are very special."
The human body is magnificent – we show children the magnificence of the human body – its sensory, circulatory and digestive systems, showing how the body functions and what its needs are – food, oxygen and water. We illustrate how the earth provides these needs and teach how we should protect our internal and external environments.
We need to support and respect each other – because of the delicate and complex nature of life itself, we need to support and respect each other and every other person, regardless of sex, race, religion or beliefs.
Life Education was founded in New Zealand by Trevor Grice.
Born in Christchurch, he was just five when his father was killed in a freak dynamite accident. His mother worked hard to support seven children, but eventually became very sick. Trevor suffered from malnutrition and was admitted to an orphanage at the age of 10. He missed a great deal of schooling because of illness.
"The strength is in the struggle and dignity comes from achievement."
Trevor was a former executive administrator for the United States Government Antarctic Programme before he left the role to set up Life Education in New Zealand.
He has been awarded the UNESCO Peace Builder Award, Wellingtonian of the Year, Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, and a Rotary Club Paul Harris Fellowship.