Social change will happen if issues are talked about.
Deepening our understanding of community need and aspirations, alongside forming pivotal relationships, contribute to Rātā’s ability to create and lead conversations.
RECENT WORK UNDER CONNECT
Rātā Foundation chair Christine Korako looks at the role philanthropic organisations can play after a crisis.
A positive outcome of the Christchurch earthquakes was the emergence of stronger collaboration between local and central government, iwi and philanthropic funders. Post-earthquakes we learnt a lot from our communities; importantly that people are best placed to lead their own recovery and define what will have the most impact for them.
Tragically, on March 15 Christchurch experienced further crisis with 51 people from its Muslim community losing their lives and many more injured as a result of a gun attack in two mosques. As the South Island’s largest philanthropic funder, we know we had an immediate role to play after the shootings but importantly that we are also here for the long term.
The response required is one that engages across sectors and funders, with real partnership between philanthropy, non-profits, iwi, local and central government, and the private sector. The value of our existing, positive, long-term relationships and established processes of collaboration within our region cannot be underestimated.
Lessons from one crisis inform the response to the next.
PENZ 2019 was held in Christchurch in April and attended by over 560 delegates. Positive education and wellbeing is a ‘hot topic’ currently in NZ and Rātā Foundation wanted to support the conference and do all we could to promote wellbeing and resilience strategies in schools and early childhood education.
Our partnership with the PENZ conference aligned with our mahi to lead and create conversations which enable inter-generational social change, notably in the area of positive education and wellbeing.
Rātā Foundation, with Dr Lucy Hone from the New Zealand Institute of Wellbeing and Resilience, worked on a series of wellbeing videos – talking to Nigel Latta, school wellbeing pioneer Charlie Scudamore, young people and teachers to get their take on how important it is for schools to have a robust wellbeing strategy.
You can watch the videos here:
- Nigel Latta talks wellbeing and mindfulness
- Geelong Grammar School Vice Principal Charlie Scudamore talks wellbeing
- Cashmere High School student Jorja Farrant talks wellbeing
- Avonside Girls' High School student Jess Marquet talks wellbeing
- Shirley Boys' High School's Pete Beswick talks wellbeing
- Cashmere High School's Shawn Edwards-Brown talks wellbeing
Following the success of the conference, Rātā Foundation hosted a Hui with group of attendees to get their views on the event.
Armed with post-it-notes, the attendees wrote down one thing they ‘liked’, one thing they ‘wished’ and one thing they ‘wondered’ about the conference.
Rātā Foundation’s responsive programmes team leader Courtenay Sheat said the chance to host a Hui, and hearing the feedback that came from it, was invaluable.
“It really gives us an insight into the needs arising in our local communities when it comes to teaching and learning about wellbeing,” she said.
The feedback from the hui, along with other evaluation methods, would allow PENZ convenor Dr Lucy Hone and her team to develop the conference to better fit the community’s needs.
She said the majority of people commended the broad range of speakers, and they came away from the conference with a sense of purpose and intent when it came to wellbeing in the classroom.
But keeping the conversation flowing would be another challenge to tackle.
“What we heard from people at the Hui was that they needed more resources and to establish connections with others so the conversation would be carried on once the conference wrapped up. They want to make sure they have the skills and support to take action in their workspace.”
Ms Sheat also said feedback noted the need to include more of a youth voice, content that could be applied to early childhood, and ways to include parents or caregivers in teachings.
“We had some people working in early childhood who were working on their own wellbeing strategies, so I think there is a lot that can be shared between these different age groups.”
Ms Sheat said the Hui was a great success, and she looked forward to seeing how feedback might influence future conferences.