Topic: Education

Ngatahi Education Initiative aims to benefit Northland kids

By Dean Nathan
  • Northland

Over 1000 Northland kids are set to benefit from the roll out of the Ngatahi Education Initiative.  A long-term programme run by the "I Have a Dream Charitable Trust" has launched in Whangarei with a key focus on increasing the number of students achieving tertiary qualifications.

Tikipunga High School was full of kids for the launch of the Ngatahi Education Initiative.

Ant Backhouse (I have a Dream Charitable Trust) says, "Ngatahi, meaning together as one, and this is about bringing schools our communities our whānau and our businesses together so that our young tamariki can achieve."

Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis says, “This will give them the opportunity to receive a top class education, and though they may be only kids right now it wont be long and they'll be leaving school with the dream of graduating from university.”

With proven results in America the initiative was brought to Auckland where it was piloted and produced its first New Zealand graduates. 

One of those graduates is Ruth Kalati, who says, “I have, I can say I have achieved my dreams.  I went on and graduated with a Diploma in Youth Work and now I teach.”

It was also a dream to provide this long-term initiative to an entire community.  Now the funding is available to offer it to children attending these low decile schools in Whangarei for three years.  But the search continues for mentors, teachers and the support needed to carry this important initiative to its completion. 

Backhouse says, “We aim to provide experiences for these children, trips, camps, activities, you know working with them after school to make sure that what they dream can be visualised as well and to help them see the big wide world out there to make sure that they do go on to achieve their dreams.”

Davis added, “I have only praise for Scott Gilmour and Ant Backhouse who lead this initiative that will be of major benefit to the children of Whangarei.”

It is definitely a brilliant initiative that will give our little ones the opportunity to realise their dreams.