The Wellington Boys’ and Girls’ Institute (BGI) is a youth development organisation, established in 1883. They run programmes and projects which support, inspire, and challenge rangatahi (young people) to wholeheartedly embrace who they are.
Their approach to youth development is grounded in the Māori health model, Te Whare Tapa Whā, which highlights the importance of balancing physical, mental, social, and spiritual health.
Their programmes include:
- Cooking on a Budget: free classes where you can learn how to cook your favourite foods seasonally and cheaply.
- Te Ahi o Ngā Rangatahi: a group for young people aged 15-24 that meets weekly to discuss issues youth face and tackle them with enthusiasm and resourcefulness.
- Paper Bag Lunch: lunchtime sessions where NCEA students learn how to make simple and delicious kai.
- Kura Wānanga: a by Māori, for Māori and of Māori leadership wānanga series which focuses on supporting year 12 and 13 rangatahi Māori to develop their understandings of their identity – their whakapapa and Māoritanga. The goal is to grow stronger, more capable young leaders who can contribute generously to their whānau, iwi, hapū, hāpori and kura.
- Community Garden: learn about gardening by volunteering at the community garden.
- Praxis: Praxis offers NZQA accredited courses in Youth and Community Work. BGI offers scholarships to study with Praxis, with scholarship recipients becoming interns at BGI.
- Tuia: a nationwide rangatahi Māori kaupapa, which works to meaningfully transfer intergenerational wisdom and leadership skills between mayors, CEOs, and other community leaders and their selected young Māori mentees. Young Māori between the ages of 18 and 25 are eligible to get involved.
- Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi Courses: through BGI, students can access some Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi courses for free.