The Creation of the VOYCE Tamariki Magazine
After 2021 survey results showed that the rangatahi and kaimahi involved with VOYCE believed that we could provide more for tamariki in care, and noticing that as an organization, we wanted to reach tamariki who were aged under 12, and so unlikely to benefit from our social media platforms, we decided to create the VOYCE tamariki magazine. The first step taken was to create a research group made up of care experienced volunteers, who found the opportunity from our online platforms. This group was led by a care experienced member of staff, and together they formed the ‘Magazine Group’.
The magazine group met each month, with the purpose of each meeting to talk about ideas, brainstorm, clarify and refine each section of the magazine. The group spoke about things that they would have liked to see in a magazine when they were tamariki themselves, and the importance of allowing tamariki to have the information that’s important to them, in an accessible way. The group also wanted tamariki to enjoy the magazine, and not just view it as ‘another care experienced thing’. The VOYCE tamariki magazine can be enjoyed by all young people, in care or not. There’s just some extra information in there that will help tamariki atawhai.
Along the process of meeting each week, the magazine began to take shape, and it started to become clear just how much everyone’s ideas had contributed to the final product. We decided, given the magazine group were located across all of Aotearoa, to “launch” the magazine, with a tūhono, connection event, in the region closest to each member and to invite tamariki from their area. These tūhono all happened just before Christmas in 2022.
For the Whangārei launch, the group joined in on their Teddy Bear’s Picnic, where tamariki enjoyed a bouncy castle, picnic food, cookie decorating and a massive cake with characters from the VOYCE tamariki magazine printed on top. The tamariki loved the cake and it was awesome to see their reactions to the magazine! The caregivers loved the magazine too and took some extra one’s home for other tamariki who hadn’t been able to attend. The young person from the magazine group was able to see their hard work appreciated by tamariki, and even got to hold a baby for the first time in their life! They had a lot of fun, and it was a great day with all the tamariki.
The Christchurch launch took place on a lovely sunny day at the end of December. They also had a cake with the characters from the magazine printed on it, as well as face painting, pancake making, crafts, bubbles and heaps more! Tamariki who attended the tūhono were also gifted pounamu from our work with Tū Maia, Pounamu by Timoti, whose goal is to gift pounamu to all tamariki and rangatahi in care. This gift meant a lot to the tamariki in attendance, with messages from caregivers coming in the next day on the importance of the gift for the young people in their care. At this launch, many members of the Ōtautahi Regional Youth Council came to support the magazine group and the launch!
The Hawkes Bay team did an awesome job of pulling together a launch filled with pancake making and decorating, yummy cake and superhero cuff making (from the magazine). It was an awesome time for all the tamariki who came along, and it was awesome to see the different superhero powers the tamariki gave themselves in their crafts. The magazine was used to inspire the crafts and the pancakes, both of which are featured in the magazine itself.
Overall, the VOYCE tamariki magazine was an amazing project for everyone involved and was a good way for tamariki to feel included in the VOYCE whānau. It was also great for the magazine group as they all felt really proud of the work that they’d done, and the final product reflected their thoughts, opinions and ideas well. We hope to do the same again this year and would love to continue making more VOYCE tamariki magazines each year! If you’re a care experienced young person and you’d like to be involved with the making of the next magazine, please email us at email@example.com or send us a private message on Instagram!