Updated: Sep 17, 2020
Becoming a mother is a life changing event, and can be difficult for many kiwi mums. Particularly for those living in hardship. Statistics NZ reported that in the year ended in June 2019, about one in seven kiwi kids (around 168,500) lived in households experiencing material hardship. This means their family could struggle with accessing essential items such as fresh fruit and vegetables, doctor's visits or heating.
Maya Chand, a mum of two, recognised this gap and wanted to help kiwi mums in need. So she started Bare Necessities, a registered charity providing essentials to mums in need. We had a bit of a chat with Maya about her and Bare Necessities.
Tell us a little bit about yourself
I am a mother of two beautiful girls (6 months and 26 months old). I am a “stay at home” parent although most of the time it feels like we are hardly ever home! My husband and I have a family business but really, that’s mostly his gig and Bare Necessities is mine (in a way, we actively support each other’s ventures).
I used to work as a lawyer before having children. I’m quite involved at our church. I love coffee and sleeping in – the latter never happens of course
What prompted you to start Bare Necessities?
Just over a year ago I was spending quite a bit of time with a friend who found herself in an unexpected and less than ideal predicament. She was also expecting a baby at the time. Everyone seemed caught up with the things that baby needed. It felt like my friend’s needs for necessities during her pregnancy and recovery didn’t really “come up”.
I found it awkward to expressly ask her whether she needed certain items so I sort of just put them together and left them with all the baby stuff. I remember wondering how many other women were going without things that were absolutely basic to me when I had my baby.
It was hard to imagine that that was reality for so many women out there. I felt inspired to do something about it but on a larger scale.
What are some highlights that you've experienced?
The look on people’s faces when they receive a package! Most would never expect anything like it. I thoroughly enjoy putting it all together piece by piece but drop offs are the biggest highlight for me.
Recently I got in touch with a mum who had a premature baby and she desperately needed a breast pump. She couldn’t have possibly planned for everything she was dealing with.
Knowing that her baby could be nourished because someone else on the other end decided to donate their own pump was just the most rewarding experience for me. To play a small role in this is a huge honour.
How can we help?
People can help by donating their preloved goods – anything they used during pregnancy or postpartum. Businesses can help by donating any pregnancy, breastfeeding and/or postpartum recovery products they are needing to move quickly, such as end of line products, items nearing their expiry date and the like.
Also, by following our Facebook page and engaging with our content, you would greatly help us reach more prospective donors.
Address for dropping off/posting donations: 35E Constellation Drive, Rosedale, Auckland 0632