In the latest of a series, boxer turned Buttabean Motivation founder and charity worker Dave Letele explains why he’s wishing for an end to poor Kiwis going hungry as others hoard billions

Last year was a big year for us at BBM. It’s been good that we’ve been able to help so many, but we saw so much poverty, pain and struggle.

There are so many people doing it tough – just before Christmas, we did an event to help 600 families with children who have long-term health conditions. To see the families break down, with mums crying, it really hit home.

1. Access for all

That’s why top of my wish list would be for our work at BBM to be available to everyone throughout the country.

It would be great for community groups like ours to be helped more so we can scale up: when you think about the work that so many groups do with no real support, just imagine the impact we could have if we were supported properly.

2. Better work-life balance

On a more personal level, I’m always chasing this mythical thing called balance, so my next wish would be to spend more time with my family in 2023.

Everyone is growing up so fast, and a lot of the time we’re so busy helping everyone that we forget our own families and they end up coming last.

3. An end to poverty and hunger

This is a big one, but I wish there was no more poverty in the world, and no more parents that didn’t have anything.

Imagine having your daughter or son looking up at you, hungry, and then to have a Christmas with no presents, no Christmas tree, and not even a hope of having a Christmas breakfast, lunch, or dinner – that shouldn’t happen.

That’s what’s driving this crime wave at the moment: people not having any money and being desperate.

4. Seriously, an end to poverty and hunger

That’s so important I’ll wish for it again. There shouldn’t be any hungry children anywhere, it just shouldn’t happen.

You think about all these people with millions, billions and trillions of dollars and yet we have hungry children – why?

People always say, ‘Well it’s people’s personal choices to blame’, but it’s not the kid’s fault – it’s not their choice.

My motto is if you can help, you should. So that’s governments, that’s businesses, that’s communities – if we all do our part then everybody wins, but no one can do it alone.

5. Don’t worry, be happy

Finally, I’d just wish for everyone to be happier and content. You look online and you see all this division and hate – I’d just like everyone to be happy, you know?

Dave Letele is a former boxer, health and fitness advocate, South Auckland community worker and founder of BBM Motivation.

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