A qualitative snapshot of kindness through the lens of community service organisations in Aotearoa.
This study began with a question: What is the role of kindness from the perspective of community services organisations (CSOs) in Aotearoa New Zealand?
To answer this question, we engaged 258 individuals who work for, or volunteer with, wide-ranging community services sector organisations in Aotearoa New Zealand. The research included 50 in-depth interviews, and 208 survey responses. Through their feedback we conclude that kindness is a dynamic, two-way exchange that is both integral to the survival and effectiveness of CSOs, and that CSOs themselves have a critical role in fostering kindness within society.
The report presents findings drawn from survey and interviews and tested with the advisory group in relation to the three research questions:
What is kindness, and what is its role from the perspective of CSOs in Aotearoa?
What sorts of programmes do CSOs currently offer that enable their clients to give and/or receive kindness?
What are the barriers and enablers to CSOs offering kindness programmes to their clients?
The report also includes five Focus Topics highlighting significant themes and issues that emerged through the research and benefit from richer description.
Through the research, we conclude that kindness is both integral to the survival and effectiveness of CSOs, and that CSOs themselves have a critical role in fostering kindness within society. Understanding the amorphous nature of kindness, and the complexities that can arise when acts of kindness interact with belief systems, experiences, and individuals’ contexts will help CSOs to avoid mis-steps, and may encourage greater use of kindness as wellbeing intervention that is funded.
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