By Emma Sharplin – firstname.lastname@example.org
The Youth Action Group at Onewhero Area School are currently putting together the finishing touches to their idea. One which they hope will be the stepping stone to sustainability in the area.
On Saturday 17 June, the students will be hosting an open day where 50 fruit trees will be available to Onewhero families.
Adopting a similar concept to the Tuakau College Action Group, the Onewhero students hope that by giving the fruit trees away it will help educate and create self sufficiency in the community.
"We would like to create a long lasting impact, rather than families relying on fruit that may not be good quality, and only available at only certain times of the year," says Alexis Vaughan.
The group of year 13 leaders was formed after agreeing to take part in the Waikato District Council initiative, which hopes to encourage more youth engagement within the community.
The WDC has secured $10,000 funding from the Ministry of Social Development to support youth in the district to develop leadership skills, and is providing each group with $1000 to run youth-initiated projects and events.
"It has definitely helped us develop leadership skills, and help educate ourselves how we can take part in community work," says Jemimah Elley.
Waikato District Councillor, Jacqui Church, has been mentoring both the Tuakau College and Onewhero Area School groups, and says that the projects both groups have taken on have been very inspirational.
"We have great youth in our communities doing things for others and the environment. There is so much talk surrounding youth and issues, but these kids are very inspirational to others, and good role models for the youngsters in our areas."
Jacqui also says that it is great to see the younger generation taking an interest in making sure the community is looked after for the future.
"They have been engaging in discussions and topics that concern the area. These groups have been working positively together, which is so great to see."
The Onewhero Youth Action Group will be at their school hall from 8.30am until 12pm, and have one tree per family to give away. They all agree that they have enjoyed the process and coming up with an initiative to give back to the community.
CAPTION: From left, students Matthew Lancaster, Charles Paterson, Tuene Henderson, Alexis Vaughan, Jemimah Elley, Caleb Monk and Waikato District Councillor, Jacqui Church, are excited to be giving back to the community by donating fruit trees.