Life changing tools for marginalised youth
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We dream of a world where every young person has the skills they need to manage stress and transform their own lives.
My name is Kristina Cavit and I run a charitable trust that supports marginalised youth to transform their own lives through mindfulness, yoga and stress management tools. Last year with the help our community we fundraised $10k to deliver a lifechanging program for marginalised youth called ATAWHAI (or kindness).
100% of rangatahi (youth) in this program reported a reduction in stress, an increase in focus, calmness, connection and trust. Rangatahi also saw positive impacts on anxiety & depression. We think these results can't be ignored given our country has the highest teen suicide rates and many of our young people have little access to mental health support and positive role models.
We want to change this reality and ensure they have the tools they deserve to overcome challenges and reach their full potential.
SO this year we are running ATAWHAI again and aim to support our young people to not only transform their own lives but to become leaders in their community.
A main focus of our kaupapa is training the trainer; youth are empowered to teach mindfulness, yoga and stress management to their community. This model has been hugely successful and has seen our work having a much wider impact.
Through our evidence based program, rangatahi learn to deal with challenging emotions, conflicts, forgiveness, honest communication, empathy, focus, motivation, positive decision making and positive relationship skills.
Our rangatahi are marginalised youth with low self-efficacy but lots of potential. Rangatahi are recruited from community partners, low decile schools and corrections programs for our program, ATAWHAI. ATAWHAI supports youth to improve their own lives through mindfulness, stress management and leadership capabilities.
Why trust us?!
Hear it from from the youth themselves!
“The Kindness Institute has helped me with a lot of anger and sadness that I kept locked up. It’s taught me that it’s ok to be sad. It’s ok to cry. It’s ok not to be ok. It’s helped me a lot with my forgiving ability. I was able to forgive all the wrong that’s happened to me. All the wrong that people caused me. The yoga and breathing techniques released a lot of stress and unhappiness.”
“It has really helped me to sleep better and handle my daily stress and anxiety. I think it’s reduced my depression and it helped me to be able to focus more. I’ve taught my parents the breathing technique. It’s really helped them because they’re stressed all the time. I would love to do this again. It’s a wonderful experience, it’s cool to have a safe space for a while.”
"I really enjoyed doing this mindful practice, I have learnt so much. In the beginning I didn't think too much of it, but as the weeks went on I noticed that I was taking things from each class and applying it to my life. I think I've become a better person from this program. I've learnt to love and be kind not only to others but to myself. I've learnt to forgive, even though it's hard, it's the right thing to do. I've also learnt to be grateful and not take things for granted. I have learnt to breathe properly and how the breath is my stress response. I would like to be part of The Kindness Institute. I hope yous come back to teach us again at school as well."
“When I was taking these classes this was the only time during my week where I felt truly relaxed and I never worried about anything other than what we we’re doing.”
We’ve accomplished a lot in the last year - with a small but perfectly formed crew of volunteers. Since our last ATAWHAI program, we have worked with the same group of rangatahi to build confidence and stress management tools. We have worked with hundreds of young people in high schools and primary schools. We aim to continue to share these stress reduction tools with New Zealand youth who need it most.
SO this year we are running our ATAWHAI stress management project and aim to support our young people to not only transform their own lives but to become leaders in their community. A big part of our kaupapa is training the trainer, our young youth are empowered to teach mindfulness, yoga and stress management to their community. This model has been hugely successful and has seen our work having a ripple effect.
Yoga, meditation and self growth are often associated with wealth but it can be used to build resilience, deal with trauma and reduce stress for some of our most vulnerable young people. It can be used to save lives.
We show kids how to get peace & love on the inside. If there’s no peace or love on the outside, what’s going on inside is something that no one can take away from them.
When we look at the youth suicide stats for Aotearoa, it’s hard to think about our most vulnerable members of society living without access to the tools they deserve to manage stress and challenges. I really believe that mindfulness and learning to make friends with our minds is a revolutionary act. It’s about creating communities built on kindness, love and honesty. It’s about doing better for all of our kids and for our whole country.
Funds raised will be used to cover costs for transport, food for the youth, venue, educational resources and koha for youth mentors. 100% of funds donated will go to this program.
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I am the Director of The Kindness Institute
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