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Support a youth worker in 2019

He aha te mea nui o te ao? He tāngata, he tāngata, he tāngata.

Here at Zeal, our most important and valuable asset is our people. Youth workers at our six locations across Aotearoa care for and walk alongside our rangatahi, through times of crisis and joy.

Although youth workers transform the lives of young people, they are one of the most underfunded areas of Zeal. Due to funding constraints, all Zeal youth workers are on part-time hours, and the majority are paid the living wage. And now, we ask you for your help to ensure our youth workers can continue to provide their invaluable services to our young people.

At Zeal, our youth workers:

  • Proactively engage with young people at our youth centres, in schools and on the streets
  • Build and maintain positive and effective relationships with young people, often for
    multiple years
  • Respond to crisis at all hours – our youth workers respond to suicidal crisis 6-7 times a
    month on average
  • Build positive relationships between young people of different cultures, experiences and
    socio-economic histories, reducing stigma and discrimination

Hear from some of our youth workers about why they do what they do:

Hayley Davies (Hamilton)
“Too many young people are left to walk their teenage years alone without positive influences to show them a way forward. It’s a privilege to journey with a young person and watch your support tangibly impact who they are and where they are going.
Throughout my journey with Zeal, I’ve learnt that our roles aren’t to be the answer to every problem – but rather to be an authentic, consistent presence, dedicated to walking alongside them as they journey towards discovering their own identity. Youth work is recognising a person while they exist in a transitory stage of life, often overlooked and forgotten, and assuring them that today they are someone worth knowing and a voice to be heard.”

Tautiaga Faaeteete (Wellington)

“I became a youth worker when I realized young people needed support and love – something I didn’t get when growing up. To me, youth work means I get to make change.”
Sean Blunkell (Kāpiti)

“I became a youth worker because I struggled to understand myself when I was 16, only had a few friends, didn’t know who I was and just really hated life. It wasn’t until I did a Gateway course at Zeal where I came across some amazing youth workers that I was able to find a
sense of belonging and hope. Now, I want to provide the same to other young people who struggle to find their place in this world, just like what the youth workers had done for me. Youth work means everything to me. There is so many amazing young people that I’ve met and I feel so privileged in journey alongside them and being apart of helping them find a sense of belonging.”

Dan Hartley (Taranaki)
“My passion in life is to walk with young people as they discover who they are and why they are here. I believe every young person has purpose and a reason to live. The reason I love what I do is because I get to work with the world’s most amazing people, helping them discover these two things.”
Liga Mo-Tofaeono (West Auckland)

“I became a youth worker because I wanted to be that part of that positive influence/ change in young peoples’ lives. I grew up seeing my parents take in so many people that it got to the point where I wasn’t sure who my real siblings actually were til I hit high school and was old enough to understand. From there my passion for young people came to life and I love the concept of care vs cure because I strongly believe that young people should be looked at and treated with care rather than a problem that needs to be fixed. Youth work means the world to me. It is about caring and going above and beyond for young people. It’s not a 9-5 where you can clock in and clock out but rather a lifestyle. It is being that one person who is in their corner when no one else is.”

We are looking for your help to raise $10,000 for our youth work teams. With this money, we can provide 475 hours of meaningful youth work to vulnerable young people in our city.