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Wednesday May 10, 2017


Empowering young women By Rachel Binning

Young Wellington women think inspiring and empowering themselves is important. A large group of 15 to 20 year-old women met at BizDojo over the weekend to participate in their third contact weekend since April as part of the Shift accelerator challenge programme run through Wellington City Council (WCC). Shift aims to get young women to “shift your body shift your mind” to improve their wellbeing, Shift Founder Fran McEwen said. The Shift challenge is a seven-month free community programme supporting young women to become “experts in their own wellbeing” and to create solutions to the issues they face in their

society, Fran said. The challenge encourages young women to come up with new ideas and to have fun, meet others and connect while being provided with the skills to make a difference to other people’s lives. “There are lots of complex problems in this world and the participants are being given the tools and opportunities to delve into these problems with support of a mentor to create solutions for their future wellbeing,” Fran explained. The challenge runs as an extracurricular activity and provides mentors for participants. It is supported by Sport Wellington and by generous grants. Part of the challenge involves deciding whether ideas are sustainable and have the ability to grow.



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One young woman returned from last year’s pilot programme to continue working on her idea. Included in the participants was a group from Queen Margaret College aiming to help young women in third world countries. Shift is currently expanding its programme into the Hutt Valley and is a i m i ng to b e come a charitable trust outside WCC operations. Shift participants will celebrate the completion of their challenge in November.  For more information:

Charlotte Barber, Tamsin Cooper, Greta Brown, Gabriella Turner and Victoria Hill from Queen Margaret College work on their idea to empower the academic education of young women in third world countries. PHOTO: Bella Photography

Independent Herald 10-05-17  

Independent Herald 10-05-17

Independent Herald 10-05-17  

Independent Herald 10-05-17