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Empowering rangatahi to be resilient.

Sadly it's all too well-known that anxiety and mental wellbeing are huge issues facing our young people.

Kristina Cavit has been working with young people for a number of years, but in 2016 she established The Kindness Institute – a social enterprise with a focus on mindfulness and resilience.

One of its key programmes is Atawhai, an intensive programme that walks alongside marginalised rangatahi to help transform their mental wellbeing through social and emotional education.

Kristina's support of young women and girls in particular saw her successfully nominated for a Women’s Fund Award in 2018, with a grant made towards the costs of delivering Atawhai.

Thanks to the generosity of Women’s Fund donors, 14 rangatahi have been able to experience their own life-changing journey through Atawhai, and a further 150 community members have benefitted through Atawhai events.

Kristina says the financial support not only meant being able to cover salary costs, it also enabled The Kindness Institute to strengthen its grounding in te ao Māori to support rangatahi's needs.

"This funding supported us to realise our vision for marginalised rangatahi to develop the tools necessary to improve their holistic wellbeing, live a meaningful life and build strong, long-lasting relationships with their whānau and community. A key part of this is enabling rangatahi to develop their sense of identity, diversity, celebrating Tangata Whenua and engaging meaningfully with whānau and community groups - none of this would have been possible without funding this role in particular."

"Feedback from the rangatahi showed that this role was essential to their development. All of the rangatahi - 100% - achieved their goals for Atawhai, with improved confidence, communication, and improved wellbeing."

"Not only that, but they’ve all gone on to teach mindfulness tools and resilience to others in their whānau and community."

"Thank you to the Women’s Fund for believing in the value of this vital work."

Watch more.

Photo supplied by The Kindness Institute.