About Our Work
In the past ten years, our work has centred on girls from the age of 14 to women up to 40, from all cultures. We have worked effectively in partnership with local authorities, schools, funding bodies, community based groups and youth agencies to deliver our services.
YWCA Auckland has a track record spanning a century and a half. It has done so through constantly reinventing itself whilst sustaining its core values and purpose. We have used this experience as an opportunity to review how we fit into the context of 21st century New Zealand.
Our work supports the well-being, development and achievement of women and girls in a society that still does not afford an equal place to us alongside men. We are explicitly feminist in our intention to promote the full potential of young women and girls.
Why we do what we do
Imagine a teenage girl. One of hundreds at a underfunded, overcrowded high school in one of the more deprived areas of our city. She is not at the top of her class but nor is she what the system would call “high risk”. With the already strained resources of her school concentrating on these two extremes, and a family that works hard and long just to get by, the opportunity to realise her potential just isn’t there. She slips between the cracks.
Pivotal to YWCA Auckland is our Future Leaders programme which was created with this young woman in mind and is driven to give these young women the opportunity to realise a better future. For 15 years, this free, four-year, mentoring and leadership skills development programme has walked alongside 800 young women aged 14-18 attending decile 1-4 schools. We have watched them grow into confident, capable, educated young women who can seize opportunities. And create them too. These young women will be the female leaders of tomorrow. Along with a set calendar of formal workshops and events which are designed to progress the young women developmentally, we connect young women on the brink of adulthood with mentors who have the understanding, know-how, compassion and experience to help them achieve their own goals.
On an annual basis we review and audit each of our programmes and undertake insights research to better understand the changing needs of young women. Over the past four years we have interviewed 390 women on the streets of Auckland to help us better understand the needs of young women. In 2017, we spoke to 163 women and this word cloud captures what they told us is big for them.
2017 Insights Outcome