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Why support OKE when there are 28,000 charities to chose from?

Back in 2016 I attended a Fundraising Institute of New Zealand (FINZ) event, a day full of talks, sales pitches and “networking”. It was a useful day and I picked up a few tricks of the trade, with one statement made during the day which just blew my mind. In New Zealand, there are 27,500 registered charities! This was two years ago, now that number is nearer to 28K (there are actually over 100,000 charitable groups in NZ)! And by the way, this doesn’t include community groups such as churches (don’t get me started), Scouts, and all the individual fundraisers on places such as Givealittle. 

So, why should you support OKE as opposed to one of the other 27,999 registered charities? Well back in 2015, the UN General Assembly developed a plan which in principle “left noone behind”. This plan was made up of 17 Sustainable Developement Goals. Pretty much all of the 28,000 registered charities in NZ will be trying to achieve one or more of these goals. Now this is quite a bold statement, but what if I told you that OKE can tick all 17 boxes? Do I have your attention? Then let’s give it a crack…

The 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) to transform our world:

GOAL 1: No Poverty – “Ensure significant mobilization of resources from a variety of sources, including through enhanced development cooperation, in order to provide adequate and predictable means…”We in no way believe that OKE can erdaticate the issue of poverty by building school gardens, but they can certainly be part of society wide solution.

GOAL 2: Zero Hunger – “By 2030, double the agricultural productivity and incomes of small-scale food producers, in particular women, indigenous peoples, family farmers, pastoralists and fishers, including through secure and equal access to land, other productive resources and inputs, knowledge, financial services, markets and opportunities for value addition and non-farm employment” – The OKE school gardens are creating small scale producers in South Auckland schools.

GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-being – “Strengthen the capacity of all countries, in particular developing countries, for early warning, risk reduction and management of national and global health risks” – By OKE building school gardens, it gives a new generation of kids access to an environment to be healthier and begin to address the staggering the health issues faced in South Auckland.

GOAL 4: Quality Education –  “2030, ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including, among others, through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development” – What better place to teach this than in an OKE garden?

GOAL 5: Gender Equality – “Enhance the use of enabling technology, in particular information and communications technology, to promote the empowerment of women” – OKE has created an augmented reality app, with the Oke character being a female role model.

GOAL 6: Clean Water and Sanitation – “Support and strengthen the participation of local communities in improving water and sanitation management” – OKE encourage all the schools it works with to identify sustainable water management solutions for their gardens.

GOAL 7: Affordable and Clean Energy – “Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all” – Through science activities carried out in the OKE school garden, kids developing an understanding of sustainable energy; solar and wind.

GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth- “By 2020, substantially reduce the proportion of youth not in employment, education or training” – OKE gardens can assist in developing career pathways from primary education through to school leavers, in areas such as horticulture, engineering and science based careers

GOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure – “Develop quality, reliable, sustainable and resilient infrastructure, to support economic development and human well-being, with a focus on affordable and equitable access for all” – Maybe this should be OKE’s new tag line, as this is exactly what we want to achieve.

GOAL 10: Reduced Inequality – “By 2030, empower and promote the social, economic and political inclusion of all, irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion or economic or other status” – The best place to achieve this is, is in an OKE School Garden…plants are not biased to who nurtures them.

GOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities – “By 2030, provide universal access to safe, inclusive and accessible, green and public spaces, in particular for women and children, older persons and persons with disabilities” – The very concept of an OKE school garden gives kids a safe, inclusive and accessible green space!

GOAL 12: Responsible Consumption and Production – “By 2030, ensure that people everywhere have the relevant information and awareness for sustainable development and lifestyles in harmony with nature” – Kids are immersed in sustainable developement whilst learning in the OKE garden and develop a true understanding of how nature operates in the garden environment. 

GOAL 13: Climate Action – “Improve education, awareness-raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning” – An OKE school garden is an ideal place teach both the impact and solutions for climate change at a very early age.

GOAL 14: Life Below Water – “By 2025, prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution” – OKE encourages all the schools where it builds gardens to be organic and pesticide free and the kids develop an understanding of why this is important.

GOAL 15: Life on Land – “By 2020, integrate ecosystem and biodiversity values into national and local planning, development processes, poverty reduction strategies and accounts” – When planning the OKE school gardens, the local ecosystems are considered and built into the design, which encourages kids to be immersed in said ecosystems whilst learning.

GOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions – “Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels” – OKE is definitely helping to build effective, accountable and inclusive schools in South Auckland.

GOAL 17: Partnerships to achieve the Goal – “Enhance policy coherence for sustainable development” – OKE appreciates schools, local council and national government has sustainability developement goals to hit and OKE will do its upmost to help smash these goals!

Helping OKE to smash these goals!

So you see, OKE is doing a bit more than just getting kids to grow a few veggies. The building of school gardens can have a huge impact on the social, environmental and economic landscape of South Auckland. We just need your help to make it happen. Head on over to the Grow OKE page and see how you can support.