As a rōpū, we have found in some of the rangatahi-led projects we have funded, that rangatahi have felt well meaning adults have taken on a ‘in charge’ role over their projects. We wanted to make a statement about this as we believe in the power of rangatahi led mahi and thought we better explain what we meant by rangatahi-led.
Rangatahi led means projects developed and delivered by rangatahi. In a rangatahi-led project, rangatahi come up with the idea, they own and shape the project from beginning to end.
Our Rangatahi-led funding is not funding for projects where adults are involved in directing rangatahi to deliver a project or are involved in the decision-making of the project.
For a project to be rangatahi-led, rangatahi need to be the boss of their own projects. Rangatahi may choose to ask adults for their advice or help. Adults should only be in support roles when rangatahi request them. For example, a young person needs help working out how to get Council permission to get consent to close a street for an event and asks an adult to help them.
The following is an example of a rangatahi-led project:
A group of rangatahi come up with an idea to hold a whānau day at their local park. They work out what they want to do and how the day will run. They ask some adults to help out with some things they are not sure about like; how do we get a food truck to come? Do we need to get permission to use the park? The adults give them advice with different options. The rangatahi decide a plan going forward and ask adults to help them with some of the actions they need to take.
When projects are truly rangatahi-led, rangatahi feel they achieved something bigger together. Rangatahi learn lots about running a project and at the end, they feel empowered.
The following is an example of a project which is not rangatahi-led (and which we are not interested in funding):
A group of rangatahi come up with an idea to hold a whānau day at their local park. Adults think it’s a great idea too and they jump in with their ideas during the planning. Adults want speakers during the day to inspire their community and have a list of local musicians they think would be great. Rangatahi feel their idea for the event is being taken over by the adults but they don’t feel
like they can say or do anything about it. Rangatahi take a back seat on the project and end up getting ordered around by adults who make a lot of the decisions.
Maybe lots of people attended and had fun. However, rangatahi did not feel the event was theirs. They only learnt that their ideas get taken over and adults know better than them. They might not give a rangatahi-led project another go because it doesn’t work for them.