Challenge for Change Kāpiti has the pleasure of working with the most incredible group of volunteers. These volunteers take on the role of mentor to a young person for an entire year. They commit to meeting at least once a week for several hours with their young person,as well as giving up multiple weekends for whole group activities throughout the year. These include both a two night camp and Noho Marae.
The people who take up this role are diverse in every way imaginable but have the common theme that their hearts are for the young people in our local community and they want to make an investment into them. This common heart means that as the Challenge for Change programme progresses a strong sense of whānau is created that includes the young people and their whānau. Every year the new group displays incredible manākitanga, whanaungatanga and tuakana teina.
From the camp at the start of the programme to the Noho Marae at the finish we see an incredible growth in the resilience, confidence and social skills of the young people. They are even confident enough at the end to stand in front of an audience (often exceeding 80) to share about their journey.
Since covid and it’s challenges has hit, these amazing people have striven to maintain the relationships with their mentees – showing dedication and creativity - using various online means to continue their regular meetings.
The hours that they dedicate to the programme is huge. They undertake the role understanding the need to be commited to their young person for the year, and often times they go well beyond this because as the programme ends they continue the relationship into the future.
What is even more impressive is the way that the Challenge for Change volunteers are grateful for their involvement in the programme and to their mentees because of the opportunity it gives them to grow themselves!! The calibre of these volunteers is incredible, and as the programme coordinator it is an honour and a joy to work with them.
From the camp at the start of the programme to the Noho Marae at the finish we see an incredible growth in the resilience, confidence and social skills of the young people. They are even confident enough at the end to stand in front of an audience often exceeding 80 to share about their journey.
Behind the scenes there is another group of volunteers whse mahi is often unseen. They regularly cook, assist with group events, help with mentor recruitment and generally get behind the programme, supporting the team to make it all happen. These are often hidden roles - but essential – so recognition to these people is also massively important as these volunteers are also hugely appreciated for their support.
I’d like to make a great shout out to all of our Challenge for Change Kāpiti volunteers - and for all that they do.
Ka nui te mihi atu ki a koutou