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Eastern and Central Community Trust earmarks $4M for youth development

As part of its commitment to rangatahi, Eastern and Central Community Trust (ECCT) has announced it is allocating $4M over four years to fund youth development activities outlined in its recently released Rangatahi Action Plan.


The funding is earmarked for growing rangatahi-led projects, supporting rangatahi business development as well as rangatahi and community-led initiatives in smaller and isolated communities with high Māori populations, assisting youth worker training and also organisations striving as the champions in rangatahi development.


The funding is available in the regions Eastern and Central Community Trust serves, which include Gisborne/Te Tairāwhiti, Hawke’s Bay, Tararua, Manawatū, Wairarapa and Horowhenua.


Eastern and Central Community Trust Chair, Georgina Morrison, says she is thrilled to reach this point of the organisation’s Youth Strategy, which aims to support rangatahi to reach their potential.


“New Zealand’s future lies in the hands of our rangatahi so it is wonderful to be supporting their needs and aspirations now,” Georgina says.


The $4M commitment, which begins on 1 April 2022, follows on from Eastern and Central Community Trust’s Rangatahi-led Fund pilot, which was launched in February and managed by ECCT’s Rōpū Taiohi, which consists of 15 members aged between 16 and 25 years.


Rōpū Taiohi member, Molly Fuauli, of Horowhenua, says that with every dollar that comes out of the investment, a chain of opportunities, leadership, inspiration and positive connections follows.


“This means we get a shot at authentic change for a kinder tomorrow,” Molly says. “It brings fulfilment knowing that we had the chance to be part of that.”


To date 24 projects have been funded through the pilot, to a combined total of $47,667. Applications for rangatahi-led projects and events continue to be welcomed from individuals and groups of rangatahi, aged between 12-24 years.


Projects funded across the region so far include hosting a wānanga at a local marae, running an environmental project, creating a community garden and running community workshops on a range of topics including promoting te reo Māori.


Fellow Rōpū Taiohi member, Mihikotukutuku-Maira Lawson, from Dannevirke, says the main thing about this funding is that it should all be rangatahi-led, meaning rangatahi have come up with the idea and are running it.


“Adults can help support and guide rangatahi with their project and the application but it all has to come from rangatahi.”


There is no closing date for the Rangatahi-Led Fund and applications will be considered monthly. To apply, or for more information, visit ECCT’s website at ecct.org.nz or email [email protected]


The Rangatahi Action Plan is also available on the ECCT website, or you can download by clicking here.