The Kindness Institute exists to empower marginalised communities in Aotearoa and to support wellbeing through movement and mindfulness, community and leadership.
The Sutherland Self Help Trust was delighted to provide funding for The Kindness Institute’s Tuakana youth development program.
The rangatahi participating in Tuakana have developed and demonstrated skills in yoga, meditation, mindfulness and self-inquiry through The Kindness Institutes foundational programme, Atawhai. Tuakana provides them with the opportunity to deepen their knowledge about these skills, learn how to become mental health leaders in their communities, teach these skills to others and access employment opportunities in this field.
A key element of the programs success is that they are delivered in partnership with young people. Experience and research has shown a program delivered by rangatahi, for rangatahi is the most effective way of passing on these important mental health and wellbeing tools.
The community impacted by the Tuakana programme is mostly rangatahi Māori ages 14-18 years old, based in Tāmaki Makaurau. Some belong to the LGBTQI+ community and come from low socioeconomic backgrounds, as well as overcrowded households. Many experience low self-efficacy and mental health challenges such as anxiety and depression, but have been identified as having high potential to thrive.
The Kindness Institute received some powerful feedback from rangatahi participants in Tuakana. Below are a few of their quotes:
“I have learnt how powerful it is to know these tools and to share them with others” – Tuakana Participant, age 17
“I will share these tools with my whānau because I know that these tools can help positively impact their everyday life.” -Tuakana Participant, age 16
“What I’ve learned in Atawhai this year (the training camp) is that pain isn’t forever, it isn’t a forever-lasting thing. And also, I learned to bring your thoughts in front of you, so if you’re overthinking, bring your thoughts in front of you, and read them, watch them, instead of throwing them to the side.” – Tuakana Participant, age 17