Waahine-focused funders back support based in small towns

Published on 04 Nov 2020

Waikato not-for-profit groups providing rural literacy and teen mentoring programmes are the recipients of grants from a fund set up two years ago to support the region’s women and girls.


Te Ira Waahine o Waikato-The Waikato Women’s Fund, a giving circle ‘powered’ by Momentum Waikato, announced its 2020 grant round at a gathering of its membership in Hamilton earlier this week.


Poutama Rites of Passage Trust in Raglan, which applies a Kaupapa Maaori approach to helping young people and their whanau navigate the passage from childhood to adulthood, received $6000 towards their programmes for teenage girls.


The Rural Youth and Adult Literary Trust (RYALT) in Port Waikato also received $6000. Founded around a kitchen table in 2011, RYALT provides free daily literacy classes for adults and teenagers living in isolated rural areas.


Te Ira Waahine o Waikato-The Waikato Women’s Fund chairperson Pam Roa said the two organisations had been nominated for grants due to the grassroots nature of the support they offer to women and girls in the wider Waikato.


“We have an incredibly generous membership base who are committed to empowering women and girls, wherever they live in the Waikato,” says Pam.


“The Fund’s committee felt both Poutama Rites of Passage Trust and Rural Youth and Adult Literacy Trust are doing wonderful things in our communities, offering programmes that equip women and girls with knowledge and provide them with mental health and wellbeing support.”


Te Ira Waahine o Waikato-The Waikato Women’s Fund is a giving circle (or ‘fundraising club’) operating under the umbrella of Momentum Waikato Community Foundation’s regional endowment, with the resulting investment income supplying funds to disburse. Last year’s grant round gave $2000 to House of Grace, a home where pregnant teens are equipped with the skills to live, learn and prepare for childbirth.


“To see our Fund grow over these last 12 months and to now be able to grant $12,000 to community organisations is really rewarding for all the donors who have supported our Fund,” says Pam.


“The generosity of our members is incredibly humbling and we are thrilled that women and girls in the wider Waikato region will benefit from the Fund’s growth.”


Since its establishment in July 2018, Te Ira Waahine o Waikato-The Waikato Women’s Fund has grown its membership to 120 donors and its capital to over $110,000. The 2020 grant announcement was on Monday 2 November at Made to Order Café in Hamilton, the function being generously supported by Craigs Investment Partners.