Mission for Youth

A comprehensive Alternative Education programme for youth who have disengaged or been excluded from mainstream schools, providing a place of belonging, life-skills, and new opportunities.

How The Mission helps youth
Disengaged rangatahi (young people) often look for new ways of being accepted. This can lead down a negative or counterproductive path, and cause associations with detrimental role models and involvement in anti-social activities, crime and drugs.

Mission for Youth (MFY) provides a comprehensive Alternative Education and life-skills programme for these young people. We aim to provide them with a place of belonging, which offers opportunities to master skills and encourages self-reliance, motivation and generosity.

What happens at Mission for Youth
Typically our rangatahi are aged between 13 and 16, and have often grown up experiencing family disruption, violence, abuse, mental health issues, or drug and alcohol addiction. Through counselling, personal support, advocacy and mentoring, some of Greater Wellington’s ‘high-risk’ youth can address underlying issues in a safe environment. Simultaneously, they work to achieve NCEA qualifications, learn new academic and social skills, and build positive relationships.

Students work through personal plans tailored to their strengths, interests and needs, to achieve meaningful academic and social goals, and lasting transformation. With the encouragement and guidance of youth workers, they work through important issues and explore future possibilities. We also collaborate with a range of external community services and specialists for more comprehensive support; these include Oranga Tamariki, alcohol and drug counsellors, Police Youth Aid, and health education providers.

Looking forward
Students are encouraged to build on their achievements – by returning to mainstream school, enrolling in ongoing education or moving into paid employment – to enable them to progress towards leading productive, positive, and fuller lives.

During 2016-17
• Students were assisted to achieve 199 NCEA credits, and take part in 141 Education Outside of the Classroom sessions and life skills workshops.

• Staff made 104 face-to-face contacts, and 930 contacts via phone or email, with parents and caregivers.

• 95% of students did not offend or reoffend while enrolled on the programme.

• 20 students attended Mission for Youth.

• All 15 of the students who transitioned from the programme graduated after they had successfully completed the objectives in their personal plans, and no longer needed Mission for Youth support.

Ministry of Education Alternative Education enrolment criteria

  • Students must have been out of school for two or more terms
  • History of persistent truancy from school
  • Failure to achieve success in mainstream education
  • Exclusions/or refusals by other schools
  • Case conference or high risk referrals
  • Referred by other Alternative Education programmes
  • Students aged 14-16 years old (students referred before they turn 16)

The programme structure

  • Monday - Thursday 9:00am - 3:00pm
  • Half day on Friday  
  • Four terms
  • Two adventure-based learning camps per year
  • Individual academic classroom work sessions in the mornings
  • Structured group education and activities in sports, life skills, creative arts and social development in the afternoon sessions

How is Mission for Youth funded?

Mission for Youth is now into its fourteenth year of operation.  27% of our annual costs are met by Ministry of Education and Child, Youth & Family funding, with the balance being raised by general Wellington City Mission fundraising.  There are some costs listed below which are incurred by students:

  • Student placements cost $50.00 per term for Alternative Education funded students. Includes lunches, camps, activities, student ID and classroom stationery
  • Caregivers/parents are responsible for travelling costs

For more information please contact:

Fay Fruean-Va’ai
Manager
04 389 0621
fay@wgtncitymission.org.nz

Points of Interest: 

My Story

On a Mission Magazine