Youth groups across the Waikato district are taking up projects including tree planting and bullying awareness as part of a “Govern Up” youth programme supported by the Waikato District Council, and they’ll be talking about their projects on community radio as part of Youth Week next week (26 May – 4 June).
With support from Waikato District Council’s ‘Govern Up’ programme, ‘youth action groups’ have so far been established in Ngaruawahia, Huntly, Te Kauwhata, Onewhero and Tuakau, and work is underway to establish groups in Raglan and Tamahere. The Council has secured $10,000 funding from the Ministry of Social Development to support youth in the district to develop leadership skills, and is providing each group with $1,000 to run youth-initiated projects and events.
Groups based at Onewhero Area School and Tuakau College want to plant fruit trees in the community so that young people can pick and eat the fruit in the future. The Ngaruawahia group, called ‘Embrace the Future’, in collaboration with Te Ahurei a Rangitahi, are developing events and programmes to increase the resilience of youth and to raise awareness around drug and alcohol abuse, as well as the importance of mental and physical health. Other groups in Huntly and Te Kauwhata are developing project lists which include mural painting, life skills workshops, and community events like food festivals, dance classes and quiz nights.
Youth representatives Sarah Hall from Te Kauwhata, Phoebe Comins from Huntly and Cory Newport from Ngaruawahia will be interviewed on Free FM, Wednesday 31 May at 9.10am to talk about the work of their respective groups.
Waikato District Mayor Allan Sanson says, “Youth Week is a great time to celebrate what our young people are doing and I look forward to seeing the results of their great ideas.”
Under a theme of “Our voices count, count our voices”, Ara Taiohi Youth Week runs from May 26 to June 4 2017 with the aim of recognising the contributions and achievements of young people in New Zealand.
Anya Satyanand, Executive Officer of Ara Taiohi, the organisers of Youth Week says, “Youth Week is a great chance for young people to take action and influence change in their communities. We encourage you to join with us in celebrating our taiohi.”
If you would like to join a youth action group in your area, contact Shannon Kelly on 027 405 6450.