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Rangatahi-led fund to benefit Central

The Central App

Alexia Anderson

23 March 2024, 4:15 PM

Rangatahi-led fund to benefit CentralWelcoming the announcement of a Rangatahi-Led Fund are (from left) Chloe Murray, Jessie McNeil, Chirlene Vorster and Noah Moody.

A fund to support rangatahi led initiatives is being rolled out in Central Otago.

The Otago Community Trust launched the Rangatahi-Led Fund for Central Otago earlier this week as part of its $10 million Tamariki and Rangatahi Strategy.

The initiative has also been rolled out in Waitaki, South Otago and Ōtepoti Dunedin, providing grants for youth-led projects that benefit young people.

Rangatahi leaders from each region are at the helm of the fund, steering its purpose and criteria.

They each collaborate with the Otago Community Trust on the final funding outcomes for grants up to $5000 that will support innovative youth-led initiatives administered by eligible organisations.

Among those who are pleased the funding has been made available is James Avenell.

He said the move meant young people now have the ability to get their ideas supported financially.

“Previously, we could come up with an idea for us, however [we] would have no way of funding these ideas, especially if they were outside school.”

James believed the fund would be a “strong driving factor” to get more young people sharing their ideas.

Anyone with an idea is encouraged to apply.

“Give it a go! Simple as that. At the end of the day, we are five young people who are running this fund. Don’t hesitate to send your ideas. They don’t have to be fully fleshed out and we can help work out the details,” he said.

“If you think it’s a good idea and it will benefit young people in the region, that’s all we’re looking for. You never know until you try.”

Last year the fund, which was in its inaugural year, supported a wide range of projects from youth networking spaces and multicultural intelligence development to all-ages events, and gatherings uplifting queer and gender diverse rangatahi.

Chirlene Vorster said she was grateful to be part of the group for a second year.

“Being part of something that you know is changing someone else’s life and seeing the positive effects this group has had on our communities, has been my highlight by far.”

Otago Community Trust engagement advisor Liz Harburg said rangatahi have bold visions for shaping the future and it was important to give them a seat at the table.

“I commend the mahi of these young leaders creating platforms for youth voices and leadership in Otago.” 

To apply for the fund, visit the Otago Community Trust website.