Bianca Taute is no stranger to hard work, innovative ideas or passion projects that show how much she cares for people.

Her latest idea is called "The Virtual Village", and one she came up with recently to help parents and whānau during the lockdown period.

"This idea came from a place of worry for parents/whānau who may already be stressed with everything going on to now prepare themselves to have their tamariki home with them full-time for a while.

"I thought if we had a place online to take a video of us doing something cool with our children and post it, then one, it will give us something cool to do, but also so we could help others or give others ideas.

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"We all have a skill or talent to share, so why not use this time to share and be proud of our parent tricks?"

The name stems from the age-old mantra 'it takes a village to raise a child' and Bianca suggests that in these times, "Why not have a virtual village to help us through the lockdown?"

There are no specific rules for the group, other than being mindful of content, staying kind and understanding of others.

"Everyone is welcome."

"Obviously the videos need to be appropriate and either be of an activity, pastime or something along those lines that others can watch and enjoy or mimic in their own homes. It's also a way to celebrate our parenting."

Bianca hopes that members will post videos about reading books, crafts with their kids, cooking, singing, dancing, music, exercise - the list is endless.

Bianca has a two-year-old son Nikau and is a psychology teacher, so she knows the challenges of parenting and teaching children of many different ages.

"It's for any age. I have a 2-year-old but this is open to all.

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"Originally I thought [this would be] just [for] mums as I'm a single mama, but didn't want to exclude anyone as maybe children are with their dads or grandparents during this time, so it's open for anyone who has a video to share."

She created the page about 10.30pm Monday night and woke up the next day to well over 150 members already.

"It's crazy how many people like the idea. [There are members] from all around the world- UK, India included."

Bianca is confident that Facebook will block any videos that aren't appropriate. However, she will also remove any that don't fit to "our kaupapa of helping other whānau."

She has had many other teachers, doctors and builders contact her offering to make teaching and learning videos as well for the group, regardless of having any children at home or not.

This is exactly what The Virtual Village is all about. Bianca says.

"It's about teaching or showing our babies new things or even teaching ourselves new things to teach them over this time."

The social interaction benefits from sharing videos and learning new skills will also help to combat boredom, stress and anxiety, in turn helping to reduce impact on parents, whānau and children's mental health.

"Its going to be stressful enough on everyone over the next month- if this page can help alleviate an ounce of that stress by giving people creative fun ideas to help keep their young ones entertained then that's all I wanted from this."

Bianca believes the Māori whakatauki, 'mā pango, mā whero ka oti te mahi' usually refers to different peoples or groups co-operating and combining efforts to achieve their goals, with our current goal being to get through this time with our babies [children] happy and learning."

Check out 'The Virtual Village' on Facebook to get involved.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/3130219003668355/