Antony Welton, The Vodafone Foundation chair speaks about The World of Difference Programme

Antony Welton, The Vodafone Foundation chair speaks about The World of Difference Programme

On Monday 1st December, I attended the announcement of the Vodafone New Zealand Foundation World of Difference participants at Inzone in Epsom. The students at Inzone welcomed us with a mesmerising haka as part of the Whakatau. It was a wonderful evening celebrating the amazing people who were chosen to be recipients of The World of Difference programme for 2015.

The World of Difference Programme supports passionate people who are making a difference in the community. It supports them financially and professionally while they work for a New Zealand charity for one year. The aim is to grow the leadership and capacity of individuals as well as strengthen the organisation’s ability to work in the community both now and in the future – all for the purpose of achieving the vision: to see all young people in Aotearoa engaged in meaningful learning. Six recipients were chosen for the 2015 programme. All of these leaders are doing an outstanding job working with young people in their various communities.

The 2015 recipients are:

Shana Malio-Satele, Programme Manager, Great Potentials
Renei Ngawati, Project Manager, Te Runanga o Ngati Whatua
Robson Tavita, Tuilaepa Youth Mentoring Services Director
Shade Pihema, Project Manager, He Iwi Kotahi Trust
Tihou Messenger Weepu, Kairanga Rangatahi, West REAP
David Graham, Academy Coach, Naenae Youth Charitable Trust

Along with the World of Difference participants, each year the Foundation gives a health professional the opportunity to advance in the New Zealand youth health and development sector via the World of Difference Fellowship. This year the award went to Adrian Schoone, Creative Manager of the Creative Learning Scheme, Alternative Education National Body at the University of Auckland. His work will focus on strengthening alternative education teachers, who work so hard with disadvantaged young people, through completing his PHD studies on the role of the tutor and education, and explore global examples of training for the alternative education workforce.

Choosing the right people for the World of Difference is a hard task, with so many worthy applicants. The judging panel look for passionate people who have an ambition to make a difference for Aotearoa’s youth and the skills to lead a step change. The projects they look to support are ambitious and innovative and focussed on getting more young people (aged 12-24 years) engaged in meaningful learning.

Congratulations to all of the World of Difference participants! We look forward to learning more about your work and what you will achieve over the coming year.