Kete Menemene

‍Phoebe Lee, Jessica Kwong, Zora Situ and Harry Pearce

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Tooth decay affects four out of ten tamariki. This is the primary cause of avoidable hospital visits in Aotearoa. Kete Menemene was created to raise awareness and educate tamariki and their whānau about the importance of dental health, in order to inspire attendance and engagement in our underserved communities.

Kete Menemene is an interactive card game for tamariki and their whānau to take ownership of their wellbeing. Kinesthetic learning helps remove barriers for illiterate tamariki. Three games are played with two decks of cards. Each game is designed for a specific age group, but is aimed towards the whole whānau, older children can teach younger ones how to play the games. Tamariki grow up with the set and it acts as a metaphor for their dental journey. Kete Menemene was designed for the community and would be available in schools, libraries, and extracurricular activities.

Four out of ten tamariki who visit the dentist have tooth decay. In comparison, it is seven out of ten for Māori and Pasifika tamariki. Equitable access to dental services results from a range of systemic challenges. The project's kaupapa aimed to create an enjoyable experience, inspire attendance, dispel dental stigma, and promote healthy dental habits. Every tamaiti deserves proper dental care and a smile they can be proud of. This boosts self-esteem and confidence and has a positive impact on their entire life. Every tamaiti should have the same opportunities that a healthy grin provides.

Kete Menemene was a project that arose from Integrated Studio, but later went on to win a Gold pin at the prestigious Best Awards in Public Good. This presented the students with an opportunity to undertake a summer studentship with the Institute for Innovation and Improvement (i3) and the Auckland Regional Dental Service (ARDS) where they user-tested the resource and developed a business case pitch for further funding to distribute the education game more widely across Auckland.