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Search for community skills and spirit

20 December 2005

Search for community skills and spirit

Calling all skilled people with a sense of community spirit: The 2006 Community Internship Programme needs you!

Community and Voluntary Sector Minister Luamanuvao Winnie Laban is today urging skilled people to put their talent to good use within the community.

"I’m inviting book-keepers, IT people, lawyers, marketing professionals, administrators and similarly skilled people to share their skills and knowledge as an intern with a community organisation for up to six months," says Winnie Laban.

The programme provides nearly $270,000 in grants each year for experienced and skilled people from the public, private or community and voluntary sectors to work within community organisations on a capacity building project.

“The programme delivers long-term benefits, because the projects aim to build capacity, so the intern’s work lives on well after they return to their usual jobs.

"Community organisations endorse the programme’s value,” she said.

Napier’s Timi Kara Marae committee member Georgina Kurupo said they benefited from intern Maia Kaukau’s strategic planning and governance skills, giving them confidence that their project objectives would be realised.

“We now have a long-term plan for achieving our goals and we’ve built two whanau homes this year, with plans to build four more next year. Whanau living outside our area have commented on the positive development of the whanau and marae,“ she said.

In 2004, the Kaipataki Ecological Restoration Project (KERP) on Auckland’s North Shore got a much needed boost from Outdoor Action marketing coordinator Bevan Woodward, who joined the group for a six-months. KERP committee secretary Marie Bradley said the group set up to save a threatened area of suburban bush but was at a standstill after seven years of rapid growth.

“Bevan brought us up to date technologically and helped put good administration systems in place, as well as finding new ways of getting our name out there.”

Next year’s Community Internship Programme closes on 23 March 2006. For information go to: www.dia.govt.nz or freephone 0800 824 824 (x 5266).

ENDS

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