Providing resilience



A two-day workshop helping young people build confidence and stand up to bullies has rapidly filled up in Arrowtown.

The Manuka Personal Challenge Workshop is run by anti-bullying organisation Sticks ’n Stones and will take place during the school holidays, on April 27 and 28.

Over the two days, students in Years 5 to 8 will learn about self talk, self esteem, resilience and emotion through practical, interactive workshops and adventure-based learning.







Sticks ’n Stones was founded in 2013 and has run intensive training programmes around Central Otago since then, addressing bullying prevention.

Chief executive Karla Sanders says based on data the organisation has collected, they know one in four young people is bullied in Central Otago.

‘‘What we also know is resilience against bullying behaviours is something that we can develop and we can change.’’

This month will be the first time they’ve run a holiday programme of this kind.

‘‘We’ve had requests from parents for a number of years about different ways that they could access opportunities for their children to develop skills and confidence through our social emotion al learning,’’ Sanders says.

‘‘We have a great team this year, with facilitators all over Central Otago, so we thought it was a great time to pilot a couple of holiday programmes to see what works and what doesn’t.’’

Parallel to the Manuka Personal Challenge workshop, another workshop will be running in Omakau, Ida Valley.

On day two, both the Ida Valley group and Whakatipu group will come together at Queenstown’s The Playground for the adventure-based learning which will include a ropes course and a range of interactive and collaborative trust-building activities.

‘‘Our aim is for them to understand a little bit about what makes them special and how they celebrate that,’’ Sanders says.

‘‘We also want to explore the opportunities they have to be assertive and build relationships that are fulfilling.’’