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Funding from Rotorua Trust uplifts and Expands Kiwi Can Programme in Rotorua

    Established five years ago in Rotorua, Kiwi Can is the first step of a journey that takes young people through Graeme Dingle Foundation programmes at different stages in their schooling. It sets a foundation of values and life skills that the students take with them through school and into later life.

    Targeting students from years 1-8, Kiwi Can delivers interactive and engaging lessons throughout the school year. The programme is designed to empower students, building resilience and confidence as they face their futures. Kiwi Can is an all-inclusive, 12-month programme that involves every child within a school.

    Robyn Skelton, Te Ati Awa Nga Rahiri at Graeme Dingle Foundation in Rotorua, explains that the initial funding for Kiwi Can came from five Rotary Clubs. Subsequently, funding from Rotorua Trust has aided the integration of Kiwi Can’s values within schools and the homes of participating children, facilitating their personal growth.

    Moreover, the Rotorua Trust funding has facilitated the expansion of the local Graeme Dingle trust, enabling the coverage of the child’s school cycle from primary school to the end of high school. Presently, the local trust encompasses Kiwi Can, Stars Teina, Stars Teina Matakoa, and Career Navigator.

    The Graeme Dingle Foundation, the organisation behind Kiwi Can, has been working with New Zealand’s children and youth since 1995, using a combination of classroom teaching and outdoor adventures. The foundation’s vision is to make Aotearoa the best place in the world to be young, and their programmes, including Kiwi Can, Stars, and Career Navigator, reach over 26,000 young people nationwide each year.

    In Rotorua, the Graeme Dingle programmes are tracking well, with six schools and 3,546 students participating in the 2023 programmes. Research conducted by the University of Auckland and Massey University has revealed positive outcomes for students, such as increased engagement with school and learning, improved interpersonal skills, enhanced resilience and confidence, and stronger community connections.

    Overall, funding from Rotorua Trust has aided the expansion of the Kiwi Can Programme, resulting in positive outcomes for Rotorua’s children, including the development of values, life skills, resilience, and preparedness for future success.