$1.5m package for 1500 youth mentoring opportunities

  • Nikki Kaye

The Government will invest around $430,000 over three years in a partnership that will support around 1500 mentoring opportunities for young people in Auckland and Waikato, Youth Minister Nikki Kaye announced today.

Lead partner The Vodafone Foundation will contribute $520,000 over three years, along with $354,000 in-kind funding from the University of Auckland, $230,000 from Charitable Trusts and $35,000 from secondary school partners.

“Under the new direction for youth development in New Zealand which I announced last November, the Government will invest in a partnership fund and will co-invest with philanthropic and business partners in youth development opportunities,” says Ms Kaye.

“Today’s announcement represents the first partnership formed under this new approach, to support two innovative programmes that help young people become mentors and enable others to receive mentoring.

“Campus Connections, based at the University of Auckland, will receive Government funding of around $215,000 over three years and $220,000 over three years from the Vodafone Foundation, along with $354,000 in-kind funding from the University of Auckland.

“This will support an intensive, four-month programme of one-on-one and group-based mentoring for at-risk youth.

“Campus Connections aims to provide young people with a sense of self-purpose, leadership and self-management skills and enhanced citizenship, with the mentoring provided by trained university students.

“This partnership will support at least 200 young people to receive mentoring opportunities, and help springboard the Campus Connections initiative from a pilot to a fully-fledged programme.

“The MATES (Great Potentials Foundation) programme will receive around $216,000 of Government funding over three years and $300,000 from the Vodafone Foundation over three years, along with $230,000 from Charitable Trusts and $35,000 from secondary school partners.

“MATES is about supporting young people aged between 21 and 24 years to become mentors, and also supporting young people aged between 12 and 19 years from low decile schools to receive mentoring.

“The programme aims to help the school students develop positive connections, self-confidence and awareness of their potential, so they increase their engagement at school and active participation in their communities.

“The funding provided to MATES will enable up to 1300 young people to be involved in mentoring opportunities. This includes providing more mentoring opportunities in Auckland and also expanding into the Waikato region.

“Both MATES and Campus Connections are doing exceptional work to support young people. It’s great to enter into this partnership with lead partner Vodafone Foundation to support these organisations.

“By working together, we create a more cooperative and collaborative environment for youth development, which is what the new approach and the partnership fund are all about.

“I expect the new approach to increase the number of youth development opportunities from 50,000 to 70,000 annually, with the overall funds targeting disadvantaged youth increasing from 18 to 30 per cent.”