At Sequal we believe you grow by giving – that we’ll all make the greatest gains if we work together. Mother Teresa once said “We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop”. This certainly rings true for us… if no one did anything, nothing would happen.
For us, our immediate obligation is to our people; to make a difference for our whanau and communities. Outside of this, it’s a balancing act with greater global needs – some of which are outlined in the media and many we don’t even hear about but know are going on out there. We feel a real sense of responsibility to support initiatives with a global reach but sometimes, given the many needs, it’s so hard to know who to help and how to go about it.
Over the past three years we’ve advocated for the elimination of human trafficking and brought awareness to LIFT International. LIFT International, along with their partners, work to strengthen justice systems, support survivors and hold offenders accountable for crimes of human trafficking and sexual exploitation. Read more about what they’re doing here: https://sequallumber.co.nz/these-absolute-legends-fighting-for-justice-and-giving-our-future-a-voice/
Over the next year we are focussed on shedding light on the issue of poverty in the Pacific. Pacific peoples make up around 9% of New Zealand’s population and numbers are steadily increasing. Not only is this a reason in itself to care about the hardship on our back doorstep, but the Pacific culture is an integral part of who we are as Kiwis and its people continue to contribute so much to our society.
Poverty and vulnerability are on the rise in the Pacific Islands. Around 25% of the population are living below the basic needs’ poverty line across Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu – almost double the poverty rate of New Zealand. The fact that these nations are extremely economically vulnerable, susceptible to natural disasters, and have limited natural resources all contribute to these stats – aswell as their geographic remoteness. Basic needs (such as healthcare, safe water, schools, electricity and telephones) are not available in many parts of the region.
These sorts of statistics are alarming and we feel that it’s important that more people are made aware of them. We want to find ways to challenge the status quo, transform communities and give more to the future not only through our own experiences but through sharing how other businesses are getting behind the cause.
In all honesty, we don’t exactly know how big the problem is but we believe our friends in the Pacific are a huge part of who we are as New Zealanders and a rich part of our culture. We’re currently looking at ways we can make Poverty in the Pacific a growing focus for us so we can find out more and discover things that we, and others, can do to help.
Stay tuned for more…