A virtual space connects parents of pēpi in Tāmaki

Parents of pēpi and tamariki under five in Auckland’s Tāmaki community are finding creative ways to stay connected during these tricky times.

The HEART Movement established a new group run through Facebook – Koru Pēpi.

“The group is for local parents, by local parents,” says Candace Weir, one of the parents from the group.  

At 1pm every weekday, group leaders host a 20 minute video call for anyone who wants a dose of encouragement and connection. An uplifting quote is shared, and a question is asked to kick off discussion.  

Questions have ranged from “how are you coping with the change in weather?” to “what are you doing to look after yourself?” or “on a scale of 1-10 how are you feeling today?.”

For some the check in has provided structure to their day, which otherwise can feel long and endless.

“Self care is so important during these uncertain times and having a daily check in is a reminder to keep this up, as well as to be a listening ear for those who need it,” Candace says.

Koru Pepi group

A virtual high five

The group’s two key principles are ‘no advice’ and ‘no judgement’. Just giving each other a virtual high five makes the world of difference, as they are all experiencing the highs and lows with small children during the COVID-19 period.

Whānau and caregivers say the best part of being in the group is the opportunity to build new relationships with others in their local community.

Connecting and growing post lockdown

Koru Pēpi is growing fast! They are planning to continue connecting post lockdown, by keeping in contact through Facebook and setting up in-person meet-ups.  

Inspired by the HEART Koru Pēpi group and supported by SKIP Champion Eva Chen, a spin-off group has even been established for parents who wish to connect in Mandarin.

Candace sends a big shout out to all the caregivers, pēpi and tamariki who are part of the group.

“We wish to thank the local caregiver leads for volunteering their time and for their warmth and kindness that has made the Koru Pēpi space so special.”

About the HEART Movement

The HEART Movement is a community initiative focused on providing spaces and opportunities to grow and nurture healthy relationships in the Tāmaki community in Auckland as a preventative measure to domestic violence. Visit their website and Facebook page for more information.