Thriving in Murihiku Contestable Funding

Invercargill’s rangatahi (young people) are experiencing exclusion and disadvantage at significantly higher rates than the national average. However, the region has individuals, organisations and community groups who are doing wonderful work to try and address the challenges these rangatahi (young people) are facing. We see an exciting opportunity to deepen the impact of this work by offering long-term, multi-faceted support.

We have spent 2021 building relationships in the region, listening to local perspectives; talking to rangatahi; hearing the community’s thoughts on what is needed; and exploring where our funding, skills, technology, and relationships might help create better outcomes for the region’s rangatahi. We have landed on four focus areas for our funding: supercharging the sector, building future pathways, supporting Mäori aspirations and creating connection.

You can read the details of our funding approach here.

You can read more about our work in the first 12 months of work in Invercargill here.

You can read our initial rangatahi research report here.

About the Thriving in Murihiku Contestable Fund

The Thriving in Murihiku contestable fund is focused on providing financial support to organisations creating positive outcomes for rangatahi (young people) in Murihiku (Southland), with a focus on Waihöpai (Invercargill) and Awarua (Bluff).

This fund is a one-off contestable funding round that has a minimum of $400,000 to allocate. We are open to applications of up to $100,000. We encourage you to think about the level of resourcing your mahi (work) truly needs and apply for the true cost. The Vodafone Foundation endeavors to fully fund as often as possible.

Applications were open from Monday the 24th of January to Monday the 28th of February 2022.

Decisions on funding will be made at the end of March, and all applicants will be notified of the outcomes of their application before Friday April 15th 2022. The allocation committee will be made up of two members of the Vodafone Foundation board, three active community members with experience in youthwork, non-profit management and philanthropy, and a representative of the Waihöpai Papatipu Rünaka.

You must be a registered charity in New Zealand to apply for funding and you must be working with rangatahi based in Invercargill, Bluff or Southland to be eligible. While we will accept applications from national organisations completing work in the Southland region, we strongly believe that local communities have the solutions to local problems, so organisations with no presence in the region are unlikely to be successful.

We have outlined the rangatahi we are looking to support, the focus areas of our funding and the application questions below. We encourage you to read through these before considering applying. We also encourage you to read through our research report “Thriving in Murihiku”, our Invercargill Initiative Funding Strategy and our report “Data Driven Perspectives” to gain a solid understanding of our kaupapa (purpose).

The young people who we want to support are aged 12 to 24 and experience exclusion and disadvantage. These rangatahi have experience with at least one of the following:

  1. Contact with Care and Protection (Oranga Tamariki)
  2. Experiences with police or the justice system
  3. Intergenerational poverty
  4. Exclusions or disengagement from mainstream schooling
  5. Are young parents (under 18)
  6. Primarily living in Invercargill and Bluff

AND we have a proactive focus, as responsible Te Tiriti partners, on supporting rangatahi Mäori.

If you would like to understand how we arrived at this focus, please refer to our “Literature Review”.

Our focus areas for this fund are:

Building Future Pathways

The rangatahi of Invercargill aspire to meaningful careers, however jobs can be hard to find and retain. With job losses in traditional local employers in the region, this is only likely to get more challenging. We want to provide young people with support and opportunities to explore new possible futures, experience employment and skill-building opportunities, and build a career which is meaningful to them.

Our vision is for all rangatahi in Invercargill to have access to a wide range of future opportunities. Rangatahi are supported to explore different pathways and experiences and build digital skills that help unlock meaningful career paths. The world of work feels welcoming and employers understand rangatahi needs. Rangatahi are valued, excited about their future, thriving in their careers, and able to make choices for their future.

Supporting Mäori Aspirations

Reconnection to whakapapa and culture was universally acknowledged as a foundational component of thriving for the rangatahi of Invercargill. Those who had walked alongside rangatahi on this journey told compelling stories of impact. However, many rangatahi do not have this opportunity.  We are interested in work that dismantles and challenges structural racism and builds cultural connection.

Our vision is for all rangatahi Mäori in Invercargill have opportunities to connect to their culture and access culturally appropriate services. They are valued for the perspectives they bring and being Mäori is seen  across the community as a strength and an asset.

Creating Connection

Connection ensures rangatahi can participate in work and education, stay in touch with whänau and social supports, and remain attuned to future opportunities. It is an important protective factor. Both digital and physical connectivity are important to rangatahi. We are specifically focusing on digital connectivity, access to the digital world, and transport.

Our vision is for all rangatahi in Invercargill to feel more connected. Barriers to the digital world have been removed and they are able to participate online with confidence and safety. Rangatahi are provided with support to obtain their drivers licenses, reducing physical and geographic barriers to connection and participation. This results in increased well-being, higher levels of civic and social engagement and opens doors to a wide range of education, recreation and employment opportunities.

We are unlikely to fund:

  • research or interventions around specific physical illness or disabilities
  • research projects not connected to practical outcomes
  • the generation of short films or web series unless supported by ongoing youth development
  • one off events or short-term interventions
  • capital projects and infrastructure
  • projects without youth input
  • scholarships, tertiary studies or funding for individuals

Thriving in Murihiku Funding Application

Applications closed on Monday the 28th of February.

We understand that folks working in the community sector are pushed for time, so we included our key questions to help you prepare. Please note the word limits in brackets at the end of each question.

1.  What is the purpose and vision of your organisation? (300)

2. How does your mahi (work) align with the Thriving in Murihiku funding focus areas? (300)

3. What outcome and impact stories do you have from your work to date? (300)

4. Who are the rangatahi (young people) you’re working with? (300)

5. What level of funding are you requesting, and what do you need it for? You will be invited to include a high-level budget here. (500)

6. What would this grant enable you to achieve and how many young people are likely to be impacted? (500)

7. What would success look like in a year’s time? How will you know if you’ve achieved it? (500)

Application form here