As a purpose-driven business, it is important to us to help out those making positive social change in Aotearoa. We love getting involved with as many great initiatives as possible and we’re constantly blown away by how many AMAZING things are happening in our own backyard.
We thought, since the end of the year is careening towards us at breakneck speed, that we would shine a light on a few of the brilliant groups we have been lucky enough to work with in 2015.
And so, without further ado, we present 10 Awesome #peoplespeople Organisations of 2015
Film for Change are a group of collaborative and innovative volunteer film-makers that work with charities to make and distribute short films. They specialise in digital storytelling; the process of making the film helps the groups communicate, and the films they make become a vital tool for their stories. They aim for the process to be beneficial to both parties – the charities get a polished promotional product and the volunteers gain vital industry experience.
InsideOUT are a national organisation working work with youth, whānau, schools and communities to make Aotearoa a safer place for all young people of diverse genders and sexualities to live and be in.
Set-up in 2011, the organisation is run almost exclusively by youth volunteers who work tirelessly to lower rates of homophobic, biphoic and transphobic bullying in schools through initiatives like The Day of Silence and Pink Shirt Day (amongst a host of other projects). In 2015 their National Coordinator Tabby Beesley became the first and only New Zealander to receive a Queen’s Young Leader Award for her work with InsideOUT.
The Lifewise Big Sleepout is a fundraiser to tackle the growing issue of homelessness in Auckland and Rotorua. There are more than 200 people sleeping rough in Auckland’s city centre alone, and thousands of vulnerable people living in unsafe or unsuitable accommodation. Now in its 6th year, the event see’s over 150 influential movers and shakers giving up their home comforts to sleep rough for the night. In 2015 the Sleepout smashed it’s 250K goal collecting $317, 246.80 from over 4000 donors!!
JustSpeak is a network of young people speaking to, and speaking up for a new generation of thinkers who want change in the criminal justice system. Based on evidence and experience, they seek to create a safer and more just Aotearoa by minimising imprisonment, enabling better rehabilitation for offenders, and focusing on the social problems that lead to offending.
Amongst a host of projects, JustSpeak run a range of events and public forums that are focused on providing an open environment where free and frank conversation can be had on sensitive issues.
We did a great little blog on The Free Store and all that they do in September but if you missed it, here’s the lowdown:
Opened in 2010, the Free Store is a not-for-profit organisation that redistributes surplus food from over 25 cafes, bakeries and restaurants throughout Wellington. Their small army of volunteers collect the food, transport it to their repurposed shipping container home on Willis Street where, at 6pm, they throw open the doors and serve the food to the masses – completely free of charge. In the last 10 months they have redistributed over 55,000 items of food to, on average, 65 people each night.
Enjoy Art Gallery
Established in 2000, Enjoy Public Art Gallery is a non-commercial artist-run initiative based in Wellington. The gallery is tucked away up a little flight of stairs at 147 Cuba Street and is well worth a visit.
Enjoy is liberated from commercial constraints in order to provide both emerging and established practitioners with opportunities to develop innovative work. They work to provide the necessary critical support, resources, and audience development to realise quality projects in dialogue with contemporary practice both nationally and internationally.
The Porirua Peoples Library
The Porirua Peoples Library is a community based art project in association with TEZA, Urban Dream Brokerage and Letting Space. It is an ‘alternative library’, one where the stories of the people of Porirua at at the forefront.
The project looks to enhance the knowledge and unique experiences of individual participants and support them in making their voices and stories, visible and audible, remembered and valued.
Kites – Buddies Peer Support Service
Buddies is a group of volunteers who have an experience of mental distress. Buddies visit people in Te Whare o Matairangi, the recovery unit in Wellington Hospital and support their peers by having conversations and sharing their experience of mental distress and recovery.
Buddies parent organisation Kites Trust work in collaboration with local communities to promote social inclusion using the principles of community development by
Zeal are a family of passionate, creative misfits who believe that every young kiwi is creative and who dedicate their lives to helping them discover, express and develop their unique creativity. Peoples have been working with Zeal to help develop their barista training course. The training has been incredibly successful and has seen Zeal open two espresso bars, Stories and Georgia, in central Wellington. These ‘container-cafes’ are staffed by trainees from the Zeal programme and proceeds are fed back into the organisation to further fund their extensive range of youth projects.
Refugee Trauma Recovery is an organisation dedicated to helping refugees settle into their new life in New Zealand. They offer specialised therapy to former refugees, working with them to rebuild and grow after years of suffering from anxiety or distressing memories, nightmares, insomnia, abuse or other traumatic events.
Since 2013, RTR have run the Annual Refugee Safety & Wellbeing Day. The event is designed to bring families together, and to encourage & empower former refugees to engage with local communities and the services & resources they offer.
If you’re interested in being involved with any of these fantastic organisations, please get in touch directly via the Facebook and Website links provided. If you have your very own initiative, organisation, cause or what-have-you and you need a little support get in touch with me (Jesse); firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll see what we can do!
– Jesse F
October 30th, 2015
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