“Everyone has 24 hours in a day – how they use that time is completely up to them.”
Simple words from an impressive young man – Tahana Tippett, an inspiring Big Buddy within our village.
Tahana, who is not yet 30, is a successful and generous young man. He holds an Honours degree in Business and is a Business Development Manager for Investment company Select Wealth. He is also fluent in te reo, which he learned from a young age and is very proud of his diverse background in te ao Maori and te ao Pakeha.
He continues to summarise his impressive kaupapa. “It’s what people prioritise at the end of the day with their time and Big Buddy is a cause that I prioritise. I understand how important Big Buddy is to our youth in the community and I am happy to give my time in the weekend to help.”
Tahana has been a Big Buddy for over three years after being inspired at his local marae while talking with a group of young kids.
“I noticed a group of young boys in the park smoking and drinking alcohol and approached them and asked how old they were. One of them mentioned he was only 13 and how he has never had his dad in his life,” Tahana says.
“This immediately led me in to finding some way where I can help young males who don’t have fathers in their lives, as I was hoping to make a change and be a role model for our younger generation. I found Big Buddy and was really inspired for what the organisation stands for and how our values were aligned.”
After joining Big Buddy, Tahana formed a strong relationship with a young buddy, enjoying simple things like walks at the park, playing cards, sports, going the movies, attending Big Buddy charity days.
Tahana’s little buddy recently moved and is now matched with a new Big Buddy that lives nearer to his new house.
Tahana is in the process of getting matched with a little buddy that lives closer to him.
“I’ll always maintain a relationship with my previous little buddy as he knows he can always call me whenever he needs help with anything,” he says.
Tahana strongly believes Big Buddy makes a real difference in the lives of young boys that don’t have fathers.
“I am sure everyone can agree that all young boys need father figures to help them build confidence and resilience. The Big Buddies help the young males make positive life choices and ensure that they always have someone to talk to for advice as we understand this is very important to young males as they go through constant changes,” he says.
Tahana believes that it is also as rewarding for a Big Buddy as it is for our boys. He points to a beautiful Maori proverb to describe his thoughts about the beauty of Big Buddy. “Mā te tuakana te teina e tōtika, Mā te teina te tuakana e tōtika — (The older will lead the younger and the younger will lead the older)”