This Christmas, the Herald is featuring 12 charities which have been chosen to get a $10,000 grant from Auckland Airport as part of its 12 Days of Christmas charity campaign. The $120,000 comes from generous travellers who donate money in globes throughout the airport.

When a child is healthy, has a safe and warm home to go to and food to eat, there is no knowing what they can conquer.

The Middlemore Foundation is a charity that has spent almost 20 years working to ensure this happens.

Established in 1999, the group works with partners and local communities to raise funds to start and support various projects in health, homes and education in the Counties Manukau or South Auckland area.


One of their projects is the Mana-ā-riki programme, which addresses children's health, home environment and education.

By working with local boards, community leaders and schools, the programme brings nurses and youth workers to schools, offers digital education opportunities and runs workshops on budgeting and raising awareness on issues such as rheumatic fever.

Chief executive Sandra Geange said the programme was very community-driven.

"We've got a group of whānau going from home to home doing the curtaining, bubble-wrapping, door draughting. We've put nurses in high schools.

"It's very tough in terms of a whole lot of issues, particularly around Christmas when they're not sure how to put food on the table."

Middlemore Foundation is one of 12 charities to get a chunk of $120,000 in Auckland Airport's 12 Days of Christmas charity initiative this year.

The charity will use its $10,000 grant to expand its Mana-ā-riki programme to new schools in Manurewa next year.

Geange said they were looking forward to working with the Manurewa community and hoped its people would find it to be a transformative process - as they had seen in Papakura, where the programme has been for the past few years.


Auckland Airport spokeswoman Helen James said: "We're extremely pleased to support the Mana-ā-riki programme, which brings together education, health and homes - all of which are vital to enriching the wellbeing of children in South Auckland.