Hawke's Bay Birthright - Growing self-esteem in our youth

As part of the local ‘Blue Light Empowering Youth’ initiative, Birthright Hawkes Bay Child & Family Care teamed up with the local Police to offer 18 teenage girls the opportunity to develop their self-esteem by participating in a five-day fun programme of activities throughout the Hawke’s Bay region.

Chief Executive of Birthright Hawke’s Bay Child & Family Care, Trevor Adsett, says the week was funded by both New Zealand Blue Light and the Ministry of Social Development, as part of the Social Workers in Schools (SWiS) Preventative Programme, to give young people the opportunity to experience activities that they would not normally have access to, learning new skills and building self-esteem along the way.

“It’s a great programme, with great outcomes, and we really appreciate the support of both the Ministry of Social Development, the Police and our Social Workers to be able to make a difference in young people’s lives.”

The activities, which were both educational and recreational, saw the girls visit the Ahuriri Estuary where they participated in DOC’s Kiwi Ranger programme and learnt about conservation, their natural environment and the need to protect our maritime environment and endangered bird species.

Day two was based at Tamatea Intermediate School where the girls learnt about nutrition, baking and cooking and then took part in Blue Light BLAST activities, including team building and problem-solving. Day three included cycling and a BBQ lunch to promote the health benefits of exercise and the great outdoors.

The girls then enjoyed another educational day at Arataki Honey in Havelock North where they made candles from beeswax and had a very interesting tour of the honey centre. In the afternoon, they participated in team building activities on the Marine Parade, which culminated in a face-off in the form of a game of mini golf, where the girls’ teams whopped the helpers’ teams by coming 1st overall -  high fives all round!

The ultimate excursion on the final day was an awesome Gannet Safari tractor trip to Cape Kidnappers to visit the gannet colony, followed by a visit to the Haumoana Animal Park.