Mission for Youth

Providing a comprehensive Alternative Education programme for youth who have disengaged or been excluded from mainstream schools 

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P14 15. Youth

How The Mission helps young people
Disillusioned rangatahi (young people) often look for new ways of being accepted. This can lead down a negative or counter-productive path, and cause associations with inappropriate role models and involvement in anti-social activities, crime and drugs. 

Mission for Youth provides a comprehensive Alternative Education and life-skills programme for these young people. We aim to provide them with a place of belonging, which offers opportunities to master skills and encourages self-reliance, motivation and generosity. 

Typically our rangatahi are aged between 13 and 16, and have often grown up experiencing mental health issues, family dysfunction, violence, abuse, or drug and alcohol addiction.

What happens at Mission for Youth
Through counselling, personal support, advocacy and mentoring, some of Greater Wellington’s ‘high-risk’ youth can address underlying issues in a safe environment. Simultaneously, they work to achieve NCEA qualifications, learn new academic and social skills, and build positive relationships. 

Students work through personal plans tailored to their strengths, interests and needs, to achieve meaningful academic and social goals and lasting transformation. With the encouragement and guidance of youth workers, they work through important issues and explore future possibilities. We also collaborate with a range of external community services and specialists for more comprehensive support; these include Child, Youth and Family, alcohol and drug counsellors, Police Youth Aid, and health education providers. 

Looking forward
Students are encouraged to build on their achievements – by returning to mainstream school, enrolling in on-going education or moving into paid employment – to enable them to progress towards leading productive, positive and fuller lives.

During 2014-15
• 30 students were enrolled in the programme
• The average age of our students was 14½
• 13 students left the programme, 11 of whom successfully transitioned having completed all the objectives in their personal plans
• Students were assisted to achieve 160 NCEA credits, and take part in 169 Education Outside the Classroom and life-skills workshops
• Staff made 1,374 contacts with parents and caregivers via phone or email
• 280 rangatahi attended our School Holiday Programmes

Ministry of Education Alternative Education enrolment criteria
  • Students must have been out of school for two or more terms
  • History of persistent truancy from school
  • Failure to achieve success in mainstream education
  • Exclusions/or refusals by other schools
  • Case conference or high risk referrals
  • Referred by other Alternative Education programmes
The programme structure
  • Monday - Thursday 9:00am - 3:00pm
  • Half day on Friday
  • Four terms
  • Two adventure-based learning camps per year
  • Individual academic classroom work sessions in the mornings
  • Structured group education and activities in sports, life skills, creative arts and social development in the afternoon sessions


How is Mission for Youth funded?

Mission for Youth is now into its fourteenth year of operation.  27% of our annual costs are met by Ministry of Education and Child, Youth & Family funding, with the balance being raised by general Wellington City Mission fundraising.  There are some costs listed below which are incurred by students:

  • Student placements cost $50.00 per term for Alternative Education funded students. Includes lunches, camps, activities, student ID and classroom stationery
  • NZQA registration fees of $75 per annum
  • Caregivers/parents are responsible for travelling costs
  • Non Alternative Education/high-risk students will be levied at a service rate of $308.00 per week

For more information please contact:

Fay Fruean-Va’ai

Phone: 04 389 0621
Email: fay@wgtncitymission.org.nz