KidsCan - Making a difference to Kiwi kids living in poverty

KidsCan was started in 2005, and from its humble beginnings has become one of New Zealand’s successful not-for-profit organisations, working to help Kiwi children living in poverty by providing them with food, clothing and basic health and hygiene items. 

The charity was founded by Julie Chapman, who in the early days operated the KidsCan charity from her garage in Greenhithe thanks to a generous $40,000 grant from Guardian Trust. After hearing continuous media reports about New Zealand children going without the basics, Julie conducted  an evaluation in 80 low decile schools to find out just how widespread the problem was and how it was affecting children’s ability to participate in class.

The evaluation revealed that thousands of children were turning up to school cold, wet and hungry because their parents were struggling to make ends meet. Schools reported that this was having a major impact on children’s learning ability, self-esteem and health. Children who miss out on the basics get sick more often, do worse at school and when they become adults they are more likely to be unemployed and have children who will also grow up in poverty.

Today KidsCan supports the education of thousands of children in 430 low decile schools throughout
New Zealand, providing food, shoes, socks, fleece lined Vodafone Warriors raincoats and basic health and hygiene items. KidsCan’s tangible programmes ensure disadvantaged children can get to and through the schools gates in a better position to learn.

Says Julie Chapman CEO and Founder of KidsCan "We now assist Kiwi kids in 430 schools throughout New Zealand and, expect this number to increase to around 500 this year. We provide practical support at a grassroots level; ensuring children begin their school day ready and eager to learn. There are however, still thousands of children we need to reach who are going without the basics through no fault of their own."

KidsCan operates with funds donated by generous businesses, individuals and the Ministry of Social Development. They also receive support from thousands of generous individual Kiwi’s through their “In Our Own Backyard” support programme for Kiwi kids. There is still so much need out there and KidsCan is calling for more caring Kiwis to pledge their support by donating $15 a month (less than 50 cents a day) which will help to fund its ongoing work. This contribution provides a child in need with a raincoat, trousers, shoes, socks and food at school for a year, with 100% of the money getting to the kids. 

“The 'In Our Own Backyard' support programme for Kiwi kids has been running for the past four years, says Chapman.  I am sure people will agree, it's sad that there are still many children in New Zealand who need our support, but it's good to know as an individual you can help to ensure we can continue to be there for them as long as we are needed.”


Written by Suzanne Keoghan (KidsCan Charitable Trust - Brand and Sponsorship Manager)

KidsCan's Contact Details:
Email: Please use the Contact Us form on the KidsCan website
Phone: (09) 478 1525

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