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At-Risk Kids To Get An Adventure Break

At-Risk Kids To Get An Adventure Break

Tauranga, 20 November 2002 – Adventure tourism is normally the preserve of thrill-seeking international tourists and well-heeled New Zealanders. However, young at-risk Kiwis will now get their chance to gain the self-confidence that comes from overcoming physical challenges thanks to an innovative collaboration between Tauranga YHA and Te Tuinga Whanau Family Support and Development Trust.

The two organisations are getting together, in a project called “Adventure Break”, to give youth people on Te Tuinga Whanau’s programme the opportunity to spend four days, from 19 to 22 November, living in and learning about our environment.

While on the adventure break, the teenagers will experience a range of activities including bush walking, scuba diving, swimming with dolphins, fishing, hot air ballooning and water skiing. The aim is to challenge the young Kiwis with new experiences and opportunities to help increase their self-confidence and self esteem through environmental and youth adventure activities.

Gareth Thomas, Community Programme Co-ordinator at YHA says that the scheme, which originated as a local initiative between the Tauranga YHA and Te Tuinga Whanau, has three primary objectives.

“We want the kids to participate in group-based activities that will help them to increase their interaction, communication and leadership skills.

“They’ll learn some outdoor survival skills doing things they wouldn’t normally get the chance to do and, by staying in the YHA accommodation and sharing cooking and cleaning, they’ll develop some domestic survival skills as well.”

The group will explore the natural resources of the Tauranga area while building their own personal boundaries, peer relationships and leadership skills.

“The participants will be challenged physically and mentally to foster their personal development,” says Thomas.

Activities on the programme include a full day bush tramp looking at the medicinal use of native flora as well as identifying native flora and fauna, and learning to scuba dive which will incorporate water safety education.

The first intake involves seven youths who will be supervised at all times by tutors from Te Tuinga Whanau.

YHA plans to expand the adventure break programme to other hostels and other groups working with at-risk and disadvantaged youth nationwide.

ENDS

About YHA

YHA New Zealand is a not-for-profit Incorporated Society committed “to provide overseas and New Zealand members, a wide range of experiences through hostels, travel and activities, in order to enable them to increase their awareness of the world and its people, and contribute to their educational development.”

YHA was launched in New Zealand in 1932, developing over seven decades into a unique network of 64 hostels nationwide with around 28,000 New Zealand members. YHA has been built by the efforts of volunteers who raised funds, personally constructed and managed many of the facilities. In 2001/02 the network recorded 500,000 guest overnights, around 85 percent from international travellers.

YHA New Zealand is a full member of the International Youth Hostels Federation, which uses the Hostelling International brand for its global network. Comprising over 4,500 hostels in 60 countries, this international focus allows members to enjoy the benefits and culture of a truly global organisation, whether travelling locally or overseas.


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