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Importance of early brain development - from a Māori perspective.

Brainwave Trust Aotearoa is a recognised leader in promoting the importance of brain development in a child’s early years.

Since 1998, Brainwave have been delivering educational programmes to thousands of parents, grandparents, teachers, professionals working with whānau and tamariki, and wider communities about why early experiences are so essential to a child’s brain development.

After being approached by a number of organisations to present from a kaupapa Māori perspective, as well as requests to create new collaborative initiatives with iwi in the Auckland region, they successfully applied to the Grassroots Giving Programme to develop a strengths-based pilot programme specifically for Māori audiences.

As well as employing André Ngāpō, a Māori educational specialist and Brainwave Trust kaiako, an external Māori steering group was formed to help guide and develop the programme material.

Three pilots have now been delivered to Māori audiences, with feedback gathered and used to refine the programme content to keep the information relatable, easy to understand, and engaging for Māori and their whānau.

Brainwave now plans to roll out the programme, and is recruiting and training other Māori kaiako to deliver the programme content as a two-hour seminar or half-day workshop.

André says that Whakamana i te tamaiti, to empower the child so they may reach their potential, is a foundation of Brainwave’s work.

"Brainwave’s vision is that all tamariki in Aotearoa New Zealand are valued and nurtured so they can reach their full potential. We speak up for children by sharing the evidence that shows the impact everyone has on the life of a tamaiti."

"This development of a programme specifically for whānau Māori audiences is hugely important in allowing us to share this information in a way that embraces a uniquely Māori perspective. We've worked closely with a steering group as well as a number of community groups during the pilot phase."

"Thanks to the Grassroots Giving Fund, this development and pilot phase has left us in a strong position to roll out the programme to whānau Māori."

Photo supplied by Brainwave Trust Aotearoa.