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Rotary Services for Youth





This document has been prepared by the Rotary Clubs of Kapiti, Paraparaumu and Waikanae as a resource for organisations in the Kapiti area who are working with young people, especially schools and service organisations.

The three Rotary Clubs in this district have a combined membership of around 130, all of whom are keen to offer their services, both practical and financial, for the betterment of the community. Rotary has always placed much emphasis on helping youth and this is clearly demonstrated by the number of youth programmes and scholarships which have been introduced and supported by Rotary.

Rotary’s aim is to increase awareness in the community of the many opportunities offered to young people through its programmes and scholarships so that potentially more young people can benefit.

Ideas for new projects are welcome. Feedback to Rotary from those organisations working with young people is vital to ensure that our resources are being applied to the areas that are most likely to make a difference to young people.

Contact details for the Kapiti, Paraparaumu and Waikanae Clubs are provided at the bottom of this page.



Programmes Co-ordinated and Supported by Rotary on a National Basis

  1. International Student Exchange

  2. NZ-Australia Matched Student Exchange

  3. RYLA – Rotary Youth Leadership Award 

  4. RYPEN – Rotary Youth Programme of Enrichment 

  5. Literacy and Numeracy 

  6. NZ Business Week 

  7. Science Summer Schools 

  8. National Children’s Day 

  9. Interact 

  10. JR McKenzie Youth Education Fund 

Programmes Co-ordinated and Supported by Rotary on a Local Basis

  1. Mock Interviews (Waikanae) 

  2. College Prizegiving Grants (Waikanae) 

  3. Run for Fun (Kapiti) 

  4. Sponsorship for Outdoor Education Programmes (Otago Youth Adventure Trust (Kapiti)

Programmes Sponsored and Promoted by Rotary

  1. Prodrive 

  2. Reaching Out and Reaching Forward 

  3. Peer Support 

  4. D.A.R.E.

  5. Trees for Survival 

  6. Life Education Trust 

  7. Rotary Youth Suicide Prevention Foundation

Contact Details


International Student Exchange offers young people of secondary school age the opportunity to participate in the family, academic and community life of another country and to form friendships with students from several other countries.

New Zealand students spend a year (January to January) living and studying in another country. Rotary also hosts overseas students wishing to stay in New Zealand and attend New Zealand schools. Exchanges can occur between any two countries in which there are Rotary clubs.

While room and board for the exchangee is provided by the host family, the student and his or her own family assume certain financial obligations. These include round-trip air travel, clothing, health insurance and incidental expenses (pocket money) for the student.

The host Rotary club will provide a modest monthly allowance and usually pays the student’s school fees.

For current information about International Student Exchange click here.

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This programme is designed to foster international understanding between Australians and New Zealanders. Secondary school students aged between 13.5 years and 16 years on January 1 exchange with Australian students.

The New Zealand student lives with the family of their matched Australian student for 13 weeks attending the same school. The Australian student accompanies the New Zealand student back to their New Zealand home and school for 13 weeks.

Experience has shown that the students who are involved in this scheme develop tremendously in personality, confidence and maturity. As well, they have the unforgettable experience of living for some months and attending college in another country, of travelling and seeing new sights, of making new friends and of having, to some extent, to ‘stand on their own two feet’ for what, for most, is probably the first time of any length away from dependence on parents and family.

Sufficient funds must be provided to cover travel and pocket money. This amount will vary according to circumstances, but costs generally including return air fares and insurance should be about $2,000 to $2,500.

For current information about this programme click here

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This programme caters for young people from 18-24 years. It is designed to recognise the potential leadership qualities of young people working within our communities and to enhance their performance through leadership training.

The programme is a live-in study for Rotary sponsored young men and women.

For current information about this programme click here

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RYPEN is aimed at young people in the 14-17 age group who are not likely to be selected for other Rotary programmes but who possess qualities of decency, persistence and application and who deserve further encouragement. The young people will be presented with a series of ideas, challenges and social experiences, which will hopefully assist them in broadening their horizons – socially, culturally and physically. It is suggested that students who have participated in previous outdoor education activities do not attend, eg. Outward Bound, Spirit of New Zealand, or any college outdoor pursuit type course.

The latest information about the RYPEN programme can be found here

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Local community projects can include:

  • Co-ordinating volunteers to act as helpers/listeners to individual children in schools as they improve their reading skills

  • Through school staff, identifying children who need books in their homes

  • Set up and fund, with a group of schools, a "how good it is to have books to read" display – to create public awareness and interest

  • Any other similar project aimed at improving literacy and numeracy

Schools seeking support with any of these initiatives should contact their local Rotary Club.

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This course is designed to give Y12 (sixth) and Y13 (seventh) form students a better understanding of and greater exposure to, the business community. The event is held at Palmerston North Boys High School during the first week of the July school holidays.

Students, who compete for places, come from the lower regions of the North Island. Each participant is required to raise $150 towards their costs and the remaining $450 is kindly donated by a business sponsor from their region in the form of a scholarship.

Applications close 1 May and students will be notified of their acceptance by 31 May.

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GENESIS National Science and Technology Forum

The GENESIS National Science and Technology Forum is held in Auckland each January. This is a programme for outstanding science, mathematics and technology students in year 12 (form 6) who will be returning to year 13 (form 7) and are planning to enter tertiary programmes in science or technology.

This fully residential programme is conducted at the universities and technical institutes in Auckland and Hamilton. By the end of the forum students should have a better understanding of the tertiary courses they wish to follow and a fuller appreciation of the place of science and technology in the wider community.

Selection is based on proven scholastic achievement and positive personal qualities. Successful applicants have the opportunity to win places at either the Canberra or London Forum.

Australian National Youth Science Forum, Canberra

The forum is very similar to New Zealand’s GENESIS National Science and Technology Forum. It is conducted on the tertiary campuses in Canberra and is supported by Rotary throughout Australia.

The forum makes one place available to each New Zealand Rotary district from the students who have applied for New Zealand’s GENESIS programme. Successful applicants will need to pay their own airfares to Australia.

Siemens Science Experience

This series of programmes is of three-day hands-on experience in scientific activity provided by polytechnics or universities.

The Siemens Science Experience is for the upper ability group of science students at School Certificate level. It stimulates interest and encourages a commitment to further study and thence towards science related employment. In 2000 there were 580 enrolments from 158 secondary schools.

The fee is approximately $75 and for families finding it difficult to pay, local Rotary clubs may, on request through schools, be able to provide sponsorship. In this way, clubs have generously assisted with about 30% of those attending. In addition, they have contributed goods, services or even cash to a local programme.

Applications are due early in May for the early July programmes. Students may apply for any centre. Participating centres in 2000 were Whangarei, Auckland, Palmerston North, Wellington, Christchurch Dunedin, Rotorua and Taradale.

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Interact is a programme which provides the opportunity for young people to work together in a world fellowship dedicated to service and international understanding. There is an emphasis on training and leadership. Interact caters for students during the four years preceding tertiary education.

Schools interested in supporting an Interact programme should contact their local Rotary Club.

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This Trust was founded by Sir John McKenzie in 1938. It is administered in this district by the Rotary Club of Wellington. Usually about 100 grants are made from this fund each year to assist young people to continue their education, particularly where bereavement, sickness, hardship, or family disturbance precipitate a need for prompt assistance. Decisions on applications are made at regular intervals throughout the year. Application forms are available from the Rotary Club of Wellington or your local Rotary Club on request. Complete applications should be accompanied by a letter of recommendation from a school principal or Rotarian who knows the family. Applications should be sent to:

Marion Patchett
Executive Secretary JR McKenzie Youth Education Fund
PO Box 13 425

Ph/Fax 04 232 4156

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The Waikanae club makes available a prize of $100 each year to Paraparaumu College to be awarded as the College sees fit. This idea can be extended to other Clubs and other schools if it is seen to be of benefit.

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RUN FOR FUN (Rotary Club of Kapiti)

Each year, the Rotary Club of Kapiti, along with a major sponsor, organises a run for fun for school age children. This is a day of family entertainment in which parents can also participate. All funds raised are returned to schools in proportion to the number of entrants from each school. The event is normally held in February each year and schools are informed of the details prior to the end of the preceding school year.

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This is a possible new project for the sponsorship of a college student

to Otago Youth Adventure Trust's Tautuku Outdoor Centre. Tautuku is in the Catlins area on the remote south-east coast of the South Island - it has spectacular coastline, beaches, waterfalls, virgin bush, rivers and excellent walking tracks. Features of the Centre include - day tramps, canoeing, fishing, confidence course, and a climbing wall. Accommodation is in a comfortable lodge, participants share in meal preparation and housekeeping. Normally the Centre is used by Otago/Southland Colleges for their outdoor programmes. During the summer recess the Otago Youth Adventure Trust/Rotary Club of Milton Tramping Club Inc offer this 4 day experience to others.

The Kapiti Rotary Club will consider sponsorship of a college pupil who has not been able to attend a similar activity, who has not had the opportunity of a holiday away from our local area, and may not have such an opportunity in the immediate future. The Kapiti Rotary Walking Group will offer training, experience and help with equipment for the person selected.

Other facilities offered to friends of Rotary by the Trust include "no frills" walks over the Milford, Routeburn/Greenstone, Keppler, and Rees/Dart/Wilkin Tracks. As well as for Tautuku, these adventures are supported by experienced voluntary guides who are members of the OYAT/MRC Tramping Club.

Enquiries for sponsorship may be made in the first instance to:

The Director of Youth Activities, Rotary Club of Kapiti, PO Box 1406, Paraparaumu Beach.

Enquiries about Kapiti Rotary Walks or the Fiordland/Aspiring adventures may be made to:

Neville Boyce telephone at home 904-3404, or check our website at www.kapiti-rotary.org.nz

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These are social skills programmes taught by the classroom teacher for intermediate and 7-10 years respectively. They aim to build children’s self esteem, positive attitudes, anger management and decision making skills. The Child Development Foundation of New Zealand (incorporating the Reaching Out Trust) is a charitable trust that has developed and provides these programmes. Rotary was the driving force behind Reaching Out initially, and with its continuing support, the programmes are in 1600 schools and edcuational organisations, with approximately 2,000 teachers trained. Parent Pack and Rural Supplement are now in more than 200 schools.

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This is a secondary schools social skills programme that provides for junior students to develop the skills, knowledge and confidence to interact with their peers in positive and supportive ways. Senior students are encourage to lead the junior students and in doing so, develop and practice leadership skills. Between 50% and 60% of secondary schools in this Rotary district operate this programme. Initially Rotary was the driving force in the development of the Peer Support Programme throughout New Zealand and it is now managed by several Peer Support Trusts.

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Following upon an initiative from Rotary, the Drug Abuse Programme has been developed by the Police in close consultation with schools and with educational, health and community agencies. It aims to help students in primary, intermediate and secondary schools to make responsible decisions about the use to drugs. Police Education Officers and teachers work together in implementing the five main programmes. The programmes are now administered nationally by the DARE Foundation and Police but Rotary has always helped to promote them. Throughout this Rotary District, there are DARE Support Committees which manage the programmes locally.

The five programmes of D.A.R.E are:

Dare to Make a Choice. A drug education programme for 8-12 year old students preparing them to make responsible choices about the use of drugs and the skills to implement those choices

Tena Kowhiria. A Maori language version of Dare to Make a Choice taught by Maori language teachers and Police Officers

Dare to Drive to Survive. A programme for senior secondary students about alternatives to driving after drinking

Dare to Support Your Kids. A drug education programme for parents and care givers of 8-12 year olds.

Dare to Make a Change. A positive personal change programme for early to middle adolescents identified as in need of positive assistance.

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Trees for Survival is a charitable trust which promotes the growing and planting of native trees to help control soil erosion. By encouraging organisations to sponsor and support school students in tending tree seedlings and planting them out on eroding land, the programme brings communities together to protect New Zealand’s soil and water resources.

The usual pattern is that a supporting organisation arranges sponsorship of a plant growing unit – a special shade house at a school. The students grow native plants from seedlings to a plantable age of about 12 months. Each unit can grow up to 1,500 plants per year. Regional Council staff locate eroding sites suitable for stabilisation by planting and the various parties, including the students, plant out the trees. Rotary provides support to the programme throughout New Zealand.

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The work of the Life Education Trust is not rehabilitation, but the education of young people to the dangers of substance abuse. The Life Education programme is delivered by trained teachers from mobile classrooms and its objectives are:

  • To teach children about the magnificence of the human body, and all its systems

  • To teach that each child is unique and special

  • To teach children that their happy survival on this planet depends on their respect for each other

  • To teach children to respect the environment in which we live

Rotary assist with fundraising for and promotion of the Life Education Trust.

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RYSPF is a nationwide Rotary project aimed at reducing the extremely high incidence of youth suicide in New Zealand. The trust was formed in 1999 after lengthy consultation with leading mental health experts.

Recognising the need for the best advice as to the allocation of funding, an advisory board has been appointed, made up of leading mental health professionals along with a strong network of professionals throughout the country for further expert guidance.

Under the direction of Rotary appointed trustees and the six district representatives, the trust will seek funds from Rotary clubs, the community, corporate sector and the Government. The advisory panel will then advise the board as to how best to allocate those funds.

Rotary assists the Foundation with fundraising and can also co-ordinate requests for funding of prevention initiatives.


Further information can be found on the following websites:



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