Children of people in prison are children of promise and potential. They are bright, courageous, strong, and creative.
But instead of being seen for who they are, they are often misunderstood, misrepresented, unheard and unseen. They are the invisible victims of crime who are largely overlooked and underrepresented in our current justice system. This hurts our tamariki and adds another layer of stigma to an already difficult time in their lives.
This year, Pillars Ka Pou Whakahou celebrated Children of Prisoners week (COPW) from the 4th – 11th of September.
This year’s theme is ‘making the invisible, visible’; giving our tamariki and rangatahi the space to be seen and heard for who they truly are.
In Ōtautahi, our mentors and mentees came together to express themselves through dance to the song ‘The Greatest’ by Sia. It was a great opportunity for our rangatahi to lead their mentors and teach them the moves. It was an incredible day with so much energy and laughter.
In Tāmaki Makaurau our tamariki got together and added to a beautiful mural, sharing a symbol with the world that best represents who they truly are. This mural will be on display in the community shortly! This mural aims to make the invisible visible and highlight the messages and ideas our Pillars Ka Pou Whakahou youth want to share with the world.
“I am more than what you see” – “The world is better when you’re kind” – “me too” – “my voice matters” – “Get to know me before you judge me” – “Help us” – “Listen to us” – “Different is OK” “Understand us” – “Indigenise”- “(We have) Human Rights”