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March 10, 2021 March 2021 No Comments

Do you know what number to dial in an emergency?

Many people know that ‘111’ is the number to dial in case of an emergency. But do kids know it too? 

As a NZ Red Cross voluntary member I’ve learnt that there were many copies of a book called “Kiri and the Emergency” available. Written by Margaret Cahill, this amazing book has also a song on an attached DVD and it has been given away to the community by NZ Red Cross during special events. It tells the story of a grandma falling from a ladder and asking her granddaughter to call emergency for her.

Such a great and simple story with a clear message and target that I thought we should be doing something with those extra copies. That’s how I’ve decided to play the song first to my  nieces to check their reaction: they simply loved it and they couldn’t stop singing the song and repeating “…if there’s not an adult around, press 111 on the telephone”.

After this successful personal experience and together with Jo McDonald, Humanitarian Development and Engagement Manager, Red Cross, Wairarapa (thanks, Jo, for this opportunity!), we started visiting day cares and schools in Wairarapa to give away some of these copies. That’s how some places around Carterton, Martinborough and Masterton got their books so teachers can read it to kids during the ‘mat time’ or even play the song, which I assure you it sticks to your mind for a couple of days…!

After our last meeting with Red Cross Martinborough group (thanks Mike Armour for encouraging me to write about this!), we decided our library could be also a great place where this book can be available to be read. So now the Martinborough Library has four copies (two in English, two in Te Reo) to be circulated among Wairarapa libraries to whoever is interested in reading it. Just ask the lovely ladies at Waihinga Centre for more information. 

If you think there is a place where they could use a copy of this book, just contact me to Natalia.bellini@hotmail.com or directly to NZ Red Cross Masterton. Hopefully, this book can get to more and more kids in this 2021 so they start learning how important this 111 number is and they can help when “an adult is not around…”. 

Natalia Bellini Martinborough Red Cross Volunteer

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