To support young people's development...
we have committed to work in alignment with the Ministry of Youth Development's 'six key principles' and their goals from that which are: strengths-based approach, quality relationships, youth participation, and informed approach. With funding from the Ministry of Social Development, we spent 2013 and 2014 developing and piloting our approach with a cross-section of 200 Canterbury young people. In 2015 and 2016 we co-designed a project using a 'user centered design approach' with 50 young people, their families and teachers. These young people helped to create and shape the following projects:
#UPSTAND IGNITION PROJECT (currently in development):
You told us you wanted a shorter gig that includes even younger people, so we are creating it! This is for Years 6-13.
We're incorporating our recently successful #Upstand social-action campaign that was co-designed with young people, with the best parts of our evidence-based workshop, to give you a powerful 30-45 minute experiential presentation that will effectively educate and empower young people (and their parents/whānau/ community members) to be #Upstanders! The benefits of offering a shorter presentation are: less time away from class, working parents could attend in their lunch-break and the cost is considerably reduced. As per our 3 hour workshop, this programme is based around the Mental Health Foundation’s “5 Ways To Wellbeing” (connect, give, be active, take notice and keep learning). This framework is supported by the Ministry of Education to help communities in Christchurch, based on surveys taken post-earthquakes.
Studies have shown us that exclusively lecturing to people, or handing out pamphlets is less effective than engaging the audience via active learning techniques such as; shared brainstorming, ice breakers, team work and problem-based learning. Each of the “5 Ways” will include active learning techniques such as evidenced-based information, videos (including our latest production written by 18 year old student and #Upstand competition winner), music and fun demonstrations that will involve the audience, AND prizes! We KNOW that young people are powerful agents of change, they have the most wisdom about how the social dynamics of their schools and communities work and the most leverage with their peers when it comes to encouraging pro-social behaviours, so we want to empower them to ‘be the change’ – each of the “5 Ways” will also include a follow-up pro-social event/activity that the school and community can easily run (see examples in our 'Opportunities for Change' section).
We know that youth development is triggered when young people fully participate, therefore at the end of the presentation, the students (and parents) will be offered the opportunity to create their very own “Be The Change (insert school name) Team”. The volunteers will stay behind and ‘sign-up’ and they will receive a ‘Be The Change NZ’ badge (this will help spread the positive messages and encourage others to join). This Team will be supported by the school staff, parents and Be The Change NZ to run a pro-social event of their choice (see 'opportunities for change'). The youth-led team is strengths- based and will enable sustainability – they will continue to be supported by Be The Change NZ, parents/whanau and the staff throughout the following months and continue to run pro-social events that will help create on-going positive culture change that eliminates bullying. As each team member leaves the school, part of their role will be to hand their knowledge and experience down to younger students, so that they can continue this positive culture. Be The Change NZ can help facilitate further pro-social events as requested – the more events that each school and community runs, the more this new positive culture is embedded.
This is our three hour experiential workshop. On this day, people get to see first hand that they: aren’t alone (we believe, that if we all connect, and KNOW each other, then we are far less likely to bully each other), the effects that negativity - and positivity can have on lives and that they CAN be the change they want to see in the world. We create a culture that inspires and supports many young people to open up and the workshop enables the school and community to identify issues that the young people want to change. We will then work together to put those changes into action. This is for 50-100 Year 9-13's. It is imperative that at least 1 school counsellor attends with teacher/parental assistance at a 1:7 ratio (ie 84 students, 12 adults). This ratio is to ensure that the students are fully supported. As per the ignition project, participants are offered shared brainstorming, ice breakers, team work and problem-based learning, the opportunity to create their very own “Be The Change (insert school name) Team” and receive ‘Be The Change NZ’ badges (this will help spread the positive messages and encourage others to join) and they will be supported by the school staff, parents and Be The Change NZ to run a pro-social event of their choice.
Note: it is in your best interest that you must have experienced the #Upstand Ignition Project in your school/organisation before running the Awareness Project.
We begin by creating a Youth Leadership Be The Change NZ Team of 20-25 upstanding change-makers. The impact that this team has, increases the opportunity for Be The Change NZ's positive ideas to spread throughout the community. The Team discusses issues within their school and help us gather another 60-80 young people to participate in the next step which is the half day experiential workshop (as outlined in the Awareness Project above). We meet weekly for a month and train the youth team to run some of the activities in the half day workshop. We continue meeting weekly after the workshop, organising 2 pro-social events to ensure that the philosophies and positive culture becomes fully engrained.
Here's what some of the young participants had to say about our projects:
"Thank you, one of the best days of my life, it's great to know someone's here".
"It's really effective and it had a positive energy about it".
"It changed my life".
"I liked the openness and caring atmosphere".
"The 'funness' and the leaders James and Vicki were great".
There was a lot of interaction and fun games".
"It made me feel better about myself".
"I loved how we could relate and how we could be the 'real us' ".
"It really helped me and my troubles".
"I learned lots about bullying and other issues".
"It was very entertaining and really opened my eyes".
"I liked hearing others point of view".
"The activities, the ice breakers and the movies were the best".
"I loved the writing of the cards. I really loved that. It was nice seeing all the hugs that everyone gave each other."
"I got to know everyone that I normally don't talk to".
"We have talked about bullying before but never in a way that we actually get it"