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Community Champions announced

Community Champions announced

What do youth workers, Deaf academics and trade unionists have in common?

They are included in the 51 community champions who have received government support via the Social Entrepreneur Fund announced in Wellington recently.

The fund allocates a total of $750,000 each year to people who have demonstrated leadership and innovation in the fields of youth, welfare, health, education, employment or economic community development.

Celebrating and supporting these people is imperative to building stronger and more effective communities according to Charlie Moore, the General Manager of the Community Employment Group (a Service of the Department of Labour) which administers the fund.

‘Social Entrepreneurs work outside of the square and often are too busy to take time out to care for their own needs,’ he says. ‘This fund allows them to build their skills, research or develop concepts around their speciality or attend educational programmes.’

Several youth workers have received support from the fund. Gisborne based Manu Caddie will use his support to travel to Brisbane and meet other inspiring youth workers and attend a conference on Youth Suicide.

Many entrepreneurs represent specific community sectors. Profoundly Deaf Aucklander Sonia Pivac, will use her grant to complement a Fulbright Scholarship at the only Deaf university in the world (USA) to study digital media as a means of developing visual resources for the Deaf community.

Wellington based Robert Reid has been active in economic, regional development and trade union issues for many years and will use his grant for a Diploma course in economic development and to write about community employment and development.

Successful applicants were announced by the Minister of Social Development and Employment Hon Steve Maharey on June 16. The next deadline for funding applications is September 1st and those community champions who can demonstrate a background as a social entrepreneur and have a plan or idea to develop themselves, can contact 04 915 4270 or visit http://www.ceg.govt.nz/socialentrepreneur for further information.

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