Yoga & Mindfulness for Vulnerable Youth

$10,670 of $10,000 goal
Given by 127 generous donors in over a year

We dream of a world where every young person has the skills they need to manage stress and transform their own lives.


Kia ora! My name’s Kristina Cavit, I’m from Auckland & over the past year I’ve been volunteering full time to bring stress reduction, meditation and yoga to vulnerable youth and women in prison.

With an awesome team of volunteers, we've brought successful programs to High School, Primary School & kids who’ve been kicked out of school.

I’ve spent the past 8 years in Aotearoa and abroad, working with youth living in poverty, dealing with stress and trauma. What I’ve seen is that no matter where a child is from, those who thrive, are those with the ability to manage their mind & emotions. All of this is dependent on stress management tools - something that most people in marginalised communities, have no access to.

Last year it was recorded that NZ has the second highest teen suicide rate in the OECD & WHO estimates that by 2025, 80% of people will have suffered from a mental health condition throughout their lives.

What if we could change this? What if youth did have the tools they needed from a young age to overcome stress, anxiety & to make positive decisions?

This is why I started The Kindness Institute...

What is The Kindness Institute?!

The Kindness Institute is a charitable trust I started this year to develop, deliver and grow mindfulness & yoga based programs in partnership with young people. We are responsive to the needs of vulnerable youth in mainstream & alternative education primarily in South and central Auckland. We’ve recently started working in the Women’s Prison too.

Our programs incorporate Mindfulness, Yoga, stress management & emotional intelligence to help rangatahi develop positive relationships and live meaningful lives, whatever that is for each individual.

99% of participants in our pilot program reported a reduction in stress. Participants reported increased appreciation, respect, contentedness, calmness & positive impacts on stress, anxiety & depression.

. Our work in alternative education has contributed positively to the development of confidence, empathy, compassion, and turning around anti-social and sometimes criminal behaviours in rangatahi.

Our model

Last year I went on a research trip to develop our model and vision. The model is primarily based on world leaders in Mindfulness with vulnerable youth, Holistic Life Foundation who deliver outcomes for youth living in urban poverty and suffering PTSD. HLF is researched by John Hopkins Medical School, Penn State and is supported by Harvard Medical School. I have trained with this organisation & share this knowledge with our team of educators.

Why trust us?

Hear it from the kids themselves!

“I used to be a troublemaker, this program has changed me, I am different now. I have a way to help with my anger & I have been teaching my little brother. I need something like this, I want you to come back. I have learnt to be confident. Yous people are special.’ - Junior, 14

Since 2014 I’ve worked with award winning organisation Nga Rangatahi Toa, running Mindfulness & Yoga with their young people. In 2012 I set up NPH New Zealand Charitable Trust to support orphaned and abandoned children throughout Latin America and we currently have over 300 New Zealanders sponsoring our kids! Next year I am heading back to our Dominican Republic orphanage to run a Yoga and Mindfulness without borders program! In 2014 I was nominated for Young New Zealander of the Year and was awarded a Local Hero medal.

Why donate to us?

The best thing we can do is not to throw money at short term projects, but provide our kids with the tools to transform their own lives. We need funds to keep our programs going next year. This year we’ve worked with over 50 kids with 0 funds and have seen amazing results. Imagine what we could do with $10k!#%! We know what we're doing works, we just need to make it work for more kids.

We’re swamped with requests for more classes which means more teachers, more mats, resources, equipment, staff, and more research to support the known benefits of our programs. More youth need Mindfulness & Yoga and as the word about our programs continues to spread, we're stretched beyond capacity. Your donation means doing better for our young people, our community and our country.

What’s the money being used for?

The $10,000 will allow us to cover the bare bare bare essentials of next years intensive program including resources, transport, and koha for volunteer teachers. 100% of the funds will go to our youth programs! Any extra funds will be used for much needed pay for our volunteer teachers & resources for our young people including food and clothing.

These rangatahi are depending on us so please support us to achieve our dream of a world where every young person, no matter where they're from, has the skills they need to manage stress and profoundly improve their own lives!

About us

The Kindness Institute was established in direct response to Aotearoa’s youth mental health crisis and empowers marginalised rangatahi to transform their mental health and wellbeing, and that of those around them.

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Latest update

Fund run for The Kindness Institute  13 April 2017

Thanks to Ellen and all her supporters for raising $1644.33 and running in the Tauranga half marathon on our behalf.

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Latest donations

Guest Donor
Guest Donor on 17 Jan 2018
Guest Donor
Guest Donor on 09 Dec 2017
Instead of giving our clients Xmas gifts, we are donating to worthy and aligned causes on their behalf.
Westpac on 21 Sep 2017
Creative Yoga NZ
Creative Yoga NZ on 23 Jun 2017
A little something from our International Yoga Day celebration to support the great work you do!
Kristin DeYoung
Kristin DeYoung on 31 May 2017
Love you Kristina Cavit and could not be more thrilled about the life-changing work you are doing through the Kindness Institute!!!! <3

Who's involved?

Created by The Kindness Institute Charitable Trust, paying to a verified bank account of THE KINDNESS INSTITUTE CHARITABLE TRUST (charity) (Charity) on behalf of HE KINDNESS INSTITUTE CHARITABLE TRUST (charity)
Registered Charity
A Registered Charity has legal recognition under the Charities Act 2005.
Tax credit
Donations of over $5 are eligible for a New Zealand charitable giving tax credit.
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This page was created on 9 Sep 2016 and closed on 20 Jan 2018.