Time to count up how many capacity-building workshops we have already run, with how many participants!
Young leaders know what is best for them.
We offer programs and resources that provide youth with the tools and knowledge to achieve the best outcomes for themselves and their whanau.
Youth lead their own creative visioning sessions and craft individual and group goals. This process is novel, fun and engaging.
We maintain up-to-date information and resources to assist youth so they can make informed choices based on their inspiring vision. Our resources are designed and tested by and for youth and informed by best practice and evidence-based information.
We host online and face to face workshops for young people to uncover their leadership potential and try new strategies to design their own leadership development opportunities.
Young people learn to lean in novel relationships with the professionals in their lives – these new patterns are foundational to participants creating their inspiring future.
Our educational contents are evidence-based and rooted in positive psychology. They cover topics that increase youth capacity to actively and intentionally shape their future opportunities..
Education is transformative. When our youth thrive, our communities thrive.
Connection and support
We offer what every young person needs, a community - a place where they are not alone, where they continue learning from each other between our programme sessions and after they graduate. Through these channels, they learn about positive community participation.
- The School Mindfulness Project provides an interdisciplinary approach to learning about mindfulness and sustainability by inspiring concrete actions that address the goals. The "Mindfulness Journals" provide an educational framework that does not currently exist in schools. Teachers who have piloted this project with students are excited at the impact it has had throughout this little rural school. The program has expanded the students' understanding of sustainability and inspired them to make actionable plans. This awareness and training in holistic and 'big-picture' thinking is valuable in forming well-rounded and thoughtful students who know about self-care and about being stewards of the Earth. Further, the contents addressed in this program include poverty and sustainable cities and communities-- as well as an environmental focus that supports the former.
- There are alarming concerns about the wellbeing of New Zealand school-children with widespread increases in their anxiety levels and stress-related challenges. In 2013 Rebecca Appelhof conducted a comprehensive synthesis of the research examining the effectiveness of school-based programmes aimed at preventing suicide and building psychological resilience among school-aged children aged 4-18, for the purpose of implementing such approaches in the New Zealand context. Her review concluded that teachers encouraging mindfulness practices in schools has wide-ranging effects, from increases in working memory to lessening depressive symptoms, anxiety and mind wandering. These elements are core to helping children cope with the increased levels of stress that lead to the increase of anxiety that culminate in our elevated children and teen suicide rates.
Great planning meeting with our Chairperson Rob Akscyn this morning! We are finalising ideas around the Te Uku Sustainable Actions Community Project.
The project will drive a series of 130 Sustainable Actions through this West Coast community. These actions will be elicited through a connection between Art and Education. The Te Uku primary school will pilot an educational, interactive children's journal. The journal will inspire youth to explore their relationship with the environment through art, to start translating ideas into action and it is linked with United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The project will encourage the students to choose actionable ideas and environmental initiatives through the expression of artwork that can be supported by the whole community.
The project has been developed from a previous series of artworks by Yaniv called "Please Do Touch". The "Please Do Touch" series is based on 5 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and represented the good and the bad - what would happen if the goals were completed and what would happen if they didn't. The series connected art, social issues, environmental topics and disability awareness - Yaniv lives with Autism and Epilepsy.
Since his exhibitions overseas, this project was re-imagined into an educational resource for people to learn and develop their own initiatives through art. Yaniv is a Raglan local, and has been successful in collaborating with the Te Uku school to pilot his journals and the project.
The journals have been developed in collaboration with Te Papa Museum. The Museum will coach the classes for the project to contribute to their upcoming nature exhibition, including a remote virtual visit of the Museum for the students during their project. The Te Uku School is very excited about this project which we would like to start in Term 2 this year, pending results of funding submission to the relevant funder.
Follow the project unfolding at: tinyurl.com/taking-action-unesco
|First NZ Alumni meeting|
8. December 2018: The 2nd Now and Next group graduates
9. Feb-March 2019: Now and Next 3rd group
10. CEO IEP 3 meetings - implementing the Now and Next concepts and create new opportunities to build partnerships with professionals.
|Last March meeting - participants gave this the highest ratings of all courses!|
Parents were keen to understand how to implement the knowledge and skills learnt during the Now and Next program to get the best outcomes for their child as s/he transitions to school.
Parents pooled their ideas to provide feedback for the first alumni series:
- Prepare early
- Communicate your child's strengths, interests and skills
- Use your Signature Strengths to plan for the IEP
- Start with 3-5 goals, from Pictability or goals developed in other contexts
- Educate yourself about how to best collaborate with educators
- Learn about curriculum and key competencies that teachers work with
- Think practical ideas: what can be implemented at school that can be reinforced at school?
2. Our first opportunities
3. Early intervention
These are exciting opportunities, which are staggered in time from next year. We have met people inspired by our philosophy!
As the report is gaining traction, expect to hear more about it! To be followed...
Download the report here.
Building the innovation ecosystem to support the development of assistive technology entrepreneurship
Dr. Annick Janson was invited to the Science and Innovation commission at the Israeli Parliamanent. The meeting was held to mark the International Day for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The session was about encouraging entrepreneurship in the domain of assisstive technology. Chairing the commission was MP Uri Maklev: MP Ilan Gilon and Chaim Yelin also spoke. Dr. Janson explained the background for current assistive technology endeavours in Australia and New Zealand and their relevance to the local environment.
Yael Elstein, Director Technology Consulting Center, Beit Issie Shapiro introduced the topic outlining the significance of Government's role in nurturing the innovation micro-cosmos. Ms Elstein outlined that it is critical to develop more technologies to enhance the quality of life of people with disabilities, their independence and inclusion. Technologies are core to each person realising their potential. Elstein explained that 1.6 million people with disabilities live in Israel - close to 20% of Israel's population and that the number of people with disabilities worldwide is one billion. In her words, the main barrier for entrepreneurs to develop more assistive technologies is financing. This is why government support is needed. On the other hand, once developed, these technologies benefit society as a whole – for instance vibration, text-to-speech and voice activation technologies were first developed as assistive and were later adopted by mainstream. To conclude the meeting, the chairman of the Science and Technology Committee confirmed that a round table of all relevant government agencies, associations and organizations who deal with the issue will be established. This will benefit the general public at all levels: “it is our duty to work for it."
The movie that we are submitting to the festival is about a collaboration between the New Zealand Human Rights Commission, a New Zealand Museum, our Ministry for Disability Issues, the Fast Track Inclusion Trust and an emerging disabled artist painter Yaniv Janson (www.yanivjanson.com). Our submission clip to UNEFF, just short of 5 min is at: https://vimeo.com/192076211
This collaboration is about raising awareness about the Sustainable Development Goals through the disability lens. These 17 ambitious goals for humanity were nominated as the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit for the adoption of the post-2015 development agenda.
Yaniv has Aspergers' Syndrome and epilepsy. He wants to show the world that people with a disability are passionate about working on the Sustainable Development Goals and that he chose to raise awareness about them through his art.
Human Rights Commission's project page: www.hrc.co.nz/yaniv-janson
The audience was keen to hear more about how the innovative tools we have developed assist families develop a vision from which planning can unfold.
Definitely to be followed!
A short presentation can be viewed below.
We pasted here some screenshots from the RadioNZ webpage. Listen to the podcast on: http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/oneinfive/audio/201781552/a-better-life or short URL: tinyurl.com/STARS-radioNZ
Reflecting on my experience in the disability sector, I am struck by the size of the task ahead.
We have entrusted professionals with the authority and the belief that their expertise carries more weight than that of other stakeholder groups - such as people with disability and their families. This has coloured their relationships with these families in ways that we have lost control over. Most importantly, this has resulted in families' journeys being over-pathologised.
Working from a family-centered perspective, we listened to parents who told us how their encounters with professionals could be improved. The key to such transformation lies in re-framing families journeys as learning paths. Listen to Ellie below who explains how she traveled on this journey. A decade ago, she had to find her own way - nowadays we can facilitate learning experiences to help others along these paths.
The sequel of the Christchurch Fashion Show happened at the Tasman Room, Alexandra Park and was another huge success for our young people. Denyse Saunders is our hero - she gave us a significant place in her show and in her heart! Our latest participant and supporting actors can't stop talking about this experience and what it meant for our young people - instilling self-confidence and self-belief... isn't it written all over their faces? The long term ramifications of this experience for participants and supporting actors are still to be explored. One supporting actor said:
In the week leading up to the performance, it took a lot of convincing, cajoling, explaining, rehearsing to reassure him that he could not only overcome his fear of public appearance - but gain from it. During this time, I discovered many new facets of strengths in the young person I am supporting. He told me this experience taught him that he was able to fight the fear and anxiety he first felt and replace them with extreme pride. Denyse made him feel special... and so did the hundreds of spectators that gave him a huge round of applause. In the days following the show, we talked at length about the value of his learning and how he would use this insight to build strength at other future moments where it was needed. Even though I have been working with this young man for the past 6 years, watching him walk down the cat walk with such confidence and pride is an experience I will never forget... and I gather so won't he!!!
STARS2 has facilitated three types of opportunities for our young people to train/work: modeling fashion, creating centre pieces for the VIP tables and performing at the 2015 Canterbury Fashion Beauty Week.
Huge thanks to:
Denyse Saunders, Founder & Producer & Director, Canterbury Fashion Beauty Week
Mandie Ashwell, Co-Director, VIP Events
and the Arts Integrated Team
Check the website of the Canterbury Fashion Beauty Week:
... can you spot the STARS logo?
Definitely to be followed!!!
Go to www.thinkandplan.com, register for free and start planning!
Let's avoid wasteful duplication of such tools and services which weakens the disability sector and adopt each other's working innovations - so that the rest of our funding can be put to other use - and then shared with others!
Te Pou lists the STARS Fashion-ABLE training at: http://www.tepou.co.nz/training-directory/come-train-with-the-stars/293
We are enthused thinking about future opportunities... more soon!