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In a recent study of US prisoners that participated in organic gardening programmes, less than 10% returned to prison.* For men with failure as a consistent theme in their life, growing food from seed provides personal success, builds esteem, and tangibly embodies possibility.
By teaching them how to grow and prepare their own food and to tend to the earth, we will show them how to live in harmony with Papatūānuku, healing themselves and the earth simultaneously and granting them the agency to become ambassadors for the environment and kaitiaki, caretakers of the planet.
Our rangatahi will have the opportunity to earn NZQA unit standards for all relevant aspects of the programme. These may be the first formal education achievements participants have gained. Lessons and activities in organic farming, tikanga Māori, numeracy, literacy, budgeting, parenting, cooking, and health.
We will provide a strong foundation of Tikanga Māori, grounded in a deep connection with Papatūānuku.
We will commit to working with the whānau of all participants in order to build/strengthen positive bonds between the young men and their parents, families, friends and communities.
We will incorporate a fundamental philosophy of environmental conscientiousness and sustainable living, to embody the premise that self-love and respect go hand in hand with reverence for and care of the planet.
“They get kicked out of class, they get kicked out of school, they get thrown in jail. So, if they can be part of something that they're proud of, that's power.”
– Jai Te Ahunga
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