Waikato waahine back leadership and resilience programmes

Published on 15 Nov 2021

Two Waikato community groups empowering women and girls through leadership, life-skills, resilience and wellbeing programmes have received grants from a giving circle dedicated to realising the potential of the region’s women and girls.

Te Ira Waahine o Waikato-The Waikato Women’s Fund, which is ‘powered’ by Momentum Waikato, has announced its 2021 grants to its membership online and via email, as its third birthday celebration, the usual occasion for the reveal, has been deferred to 2022 due to Covid-19 restrictions.

The Flourish Leadership Development for Ethnic Women programme run by the Hamilton Multicultural Services Trust at the Waikato Settlement Centre will receive $5,000 to fund their courses for women from migrant and refugee backgrounds who aspire to leadership and governance board roles.

Te Hinatore run by Anglican Action also received $5,000, which will fund a six-week Mana Waahine programme designed specifically for young women navigating the youth justice system or facing challenges within their lives.

Fund Chairperson Rachel Afeaki said the two not-for-profit organisations were nominated for grants due to the transformational nature of the strength-based support they offer to women and girls.

“The generous ongoing support of the Women’s Fund membership, even during a global pandemic, demonstrates our commitment to ensuring women and girls can pursue their potential throughout the Waikato,” says Rachel.

“The Women’s Fund Board recognised Flourish Leadership Development for Ethnic Women and Te Hinatore as both significantly contributing to our communities, offering programmes that equip women and girls with knowledge and provide them with mental health and wellbeing support.

“Considering it’s been a tough year all round due to Covid-19, it’s humbling to see our Fund grow over the last 12 months, which has allowed our membership and supporters to distribute grants to these two outstanding initiatives.”

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 being granted to local community groups based on a membership vote.

Since its establishment in July 2018, the Women’s Fund has grown its membership to 144 donors and its capital to over $151,000. Last year’s grant round gave $6,000 each to Poutama Rites of Passage Trust in Raglan and Rural Youth and Adult Literacy Trust in Port Waikato for their rural literacy and teen mentoring programmes for women and girls.