SOUL is a recipient of a Ministry of Youth Development grant for youth development opportunities, with the funding set to make a huge difference in setting up programmes for young women in Auckland and Wellington.
SOUL (Sources of Unconditional Love Charitable Trust) will receive $16,000 to support the delivery of its SOULcircle programmes, which provide leadership, volunteering and mentoring opportunities for young women.
SOUL programmes enable girls to form life-changing friendships, break through the glass ceiling, and create worldwide campaigns that make people rethink and dissolve prejudices.
SOUL founder Julie Bartlett MNZM says this recognition will pay for two of SOUL’s programmes this year and validates the positive impact SOUL will make on society.
“Women in New Zealand are still facing prejudice – one in five women experience discrimination and it’s not a secret that women earn on average 88 cents to every dollar earned by men,” says Bartlett.
“SOUL shines a light on discrimination, but with love. SOUL’s mission is to replace prejudice and discrimination with empowerment and to motivate young women to become their own role model.”
SOUL launched its first programmes for girls in April and SOULcircle programmes are initially being set up in New Zealand’s main cities. In SOULcircles girls choose the activities they will take on – and with the guidance of mentors accomplish things they previously thought unachievable. In addition to the programmes, there will be humorous, thought-provoking videos spreading SOUL’s unconditional love far and wide.
“We have the dream for our programmes to be run globally in five years, and with the support of the awe-inspiring young women that are signing up to be part of SOUL, I think that will happen fast,” adds Bartlett.
Bartlett was also successful in reducing prejudice towards young people with disabilities through award-winning charity StarJam, which she also founded. Building on these successes, Julie is dedicated to ‘setting girls free’ with SOUL.
The YES Disability Resource Centre and Connecting for Youth Employment Trust, are also recipients of the Ministry of Youth Development funding which allocated $65,000 in total to the three youth sector organisations and four youth councils.
“All of these organisations are working to inspire young people, and supporting them to gain new skills and confidence to help put them on a path to a successful future,” says Youth Minister Nikki Kaye.
“Our young people have unlimited potential, and it’s important we support them to realise this potential and that we recognise the contribution they make to society.”
There are still some places left on our upcoming SOULcircles, starting on the following dates in these locations:
- Auckland (West) – starts 17 July (ages 18-21)
- Auckland (South) – starts 24 July (ages 15-18)
- Wellington (Aro Valley) – starts 7 August (ages 15-18)
- Wellington (Mt Cook) – starts 21 August (ages 18-21)