We contacted MPs, we had potential proposals for sustainable income for next year. We just needed to get to next year. Darcy Hata, Youthquest Kapiti mentoring manager
Well-heeled young folk do better?
By Roger Childs
Back in June, I was honoured to be present at the Youthquest Kapiti (YQK) prize giving. (Good to know that the Mayor was there.) It was great to see nine young men who were “at risk” before they started their tough six week course, graduating, and speaking about having their lives turned-around.
Most were from working class backgrounds and many were part-Maori.
Earlier in the year I had attended a Council meeting where representatives from the national ZEAL youth organisation were given 40 minutes to make a case for more KCDC funding. One of the group spoke of a recent achievement in building the confidence of a very shy girl.
Comparing the two groups today: YQK has had to go into liquidation, whereas ZEAL, is alive and well, and as of June 2016, has well over $360,000 in the bank.
Youthquest Kapiti: Turning Lives Around
The Youthquest programme has been highly successful for 11 years and there are still youths of 15 – 17 who can and will benefit from this programme, which provides a chance for them to turn from crime or antisocial behaviour. YQK Trustee, John Granville
The organisation is a shining light on the Kapiti Coast in showing what can be done for “at risk” youth. The young men have been referred by police, schools, families and the courts, and YQK has taken up the challenge.
Approximately 250 young men, their families and the communities from Levin to Porirua have benefitted from the 6 week programme and 12 months mentoring. John Granville
But unfortunately the organisation has struggled to get adequate funding from government sources and donations. Earlier this year, under the Ministry of Youth Development (MYD) new priorities, applications for funds for the 2017/18 year have been declined.
Kapiti Council (KCDC) has been less than generous
How about financial support from the local body where it operates? The comparisons between backing for YQK and ZEAL are stark.
2015/2016 Financial Year
- Youth Quest Kapiti $1,150 ($2,300 in 2016/17)
- ZEAL $187,867
Is this a case of backing the organisation that largely benefits youth from better-off families?
YQK has been active in Kapiti for 11 years, solving social problems and saving the community money in policing, crime, graffiti, court cases and family violence. As part of their course, the young men have always helped older people with chores and carried out other community service.
An injection of $187,000 from KCDC would have got the organisation well over the line for next year.
Another case of opportunity lost?