Often, I am asked this question by my friends, family, people enquiring, workers from the places we visit on our Pride adventures and even strangers on the street.
In these often-rushed interactions I find my answers plain and simple. Answers along the lines of “We are a childcare provider.” “We offer care for children of all ages.” “We do all sorts of care. In home, in school, after and before school, mentoring, you name it, we do it.” While all these statements are a rough estimate of what Pride Lands does, it doesn’t at all answer what Pride Lands IS!
In my year and a half of being a part of Pride Lands I’ve learnt it is so much more than just a childcare provider. We don’t just take kids on to entertain them for a few hours until parents are ready to take them home, we engage with them. The abundance of interactive, engaging, problem solving and skill based games I have learnt and experienced are uncountable. And the children pounce at the opportunities provided within these games to prove themselves, show their skills, make clear why they are an asset to their team, but most importantly to use the magic of their childhood to have fun. Across all forms of the care provided, I am constantly taking part in new teachings and relearning lessons of old alongside these children but having a blast the whole time. Children don’t come back to us because they can do whatever they want, they return to Pride Lands because they know they will learn and have more fun than at any other place.
The most extraordinary aspect of Pride Lands is the diversity of individuals that find their way here. This is seen in both the staff and children. Every single person has an extremely unique and personal skill that is brought to the table which is then used to build everyone up within Pride Lands. The most amazing thing is the variation of backgrounds amongst the kids and how they all see each other as peers and know that while at Pride Lands they are safe from judgement of the outside world. Amongst the staff I have made friends who have come from all over New Zealand and the world. I consider myself very blessed to consider every single staff member a friend and share alongside them the experiences had whilst working at Pride Lands.
When asking myself again ‘What is Pride Lands?’ I find the answer can be given in an easy and short sentence that will give you all you need to know about what Pride Lands truly is, what it stands for and what it hopes to create for the future of Humanity. What is that answer…?
Pride Lands is a second home and a second family.