From here in Papamoa it seems to me that Bob Parker is a wonderful representative for all those who are helping Christchurch try and get through this devastation. His calm and real exterior reflects courage, and as a friend shared with me "Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear."
Our family has many friends in Christchurch who are Principals of schools within and beyond the city. I truly admire the courage, leadership and aroha of the Principals of Christchurch schools during this time - their ability to love and serve their families as well as those in your community is unbelievable. I can only imagine what my partner would be going through internally if he were needed to help the community in which he serves, while his concerns would also be for us - his wife and child. After speaking to one Principal - whose family has retreated to relations in Dunedin while he supports the school community, in response to our offer of help said that just for now he can get through this, but in a months time he would like a visit for the emotional support he may need then. We need to continue our support for the people of Canterbury for many months to come.
As a member of our local Toy Library and with my background in education my concerns are for the children. Recently on NZ radio and television Nigel Latta made these suggestions for helping children get through such a traumatic event:
1. Safety (in whatever small ways you can make them feel safe)
2.Calmness (put your game face on and fake it if you have to)
3.Connection (point out to them how everyone is together, and everyone is helping each other... all one big village together)
4. Self Efficacy (promote a sense they can have an impact on the world i.e. some control... fight small win-able battles like picking up the chairs etc)
5. Hope (promote a sense that 'this too will pass' and things will go on and school will come back and all that stuff)
Our Toy Library will be calling for our local children to donate a once loved around the week of "Children's Day" to to a toy stall we will be running at the Papamoa Markets in March to raise money for the children and Toy Libraries in Christchurch. I will post finer details soon. Those on Megan's "Organised Home Challenge" might like to declutter with your children for the children of Christchurch.
I am very excited to be a part of the "Softies for the Children of Christchurch" auction. Please check it out on the button next door. May be join in or ask a crafter you know if they would like to help out.
Christchurch your courage is immense and know that the whole of NZ is behind you for the long haul x