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Be The Change Campaign

7 November, 2013

Three of New Zealand’s well established youth charities have joined together with artist and street skating legend Levi Hawken, of ‘nek minnit’ fame, to create an anti-bullying clip titled ‘Be the Change’ in response to the growing concern for young people for whom bullying, in particular online bullying, has increased dramatically in recent times.

“Bullying is widespread in New Zealand and has been shown to result in poor educational, social and emotional outcomes for our young people” said Brendon Crompton, Blue Light National Manager. “The digital world has added a new dimension to bullying and we are only now just beginning to see the devastating effects online bullying can have on our young people”.

“The messages that are portrayed in this clip with Levi are ones that came directly from a group of 70 young people who were involved in an Anti-Bullying Hui we held in June. The group felt that bullying, in any form, is simply ‘not OK’ and that young people have an important part to play in ensuring they are not perpetrators of this behaviour and that they are able to support their peers affected by bullying. Quite simply there was a strong feeling that young people need to ‘Be the Change’ to ensure bullying is no longer part of our communities’ said Stephen Bell, Youthline Auckland CEO.

View the clip here:

As well as the clip, additional material is being created including a community resource ‘An Emotional First Aid Kit’ containing a guide along the lines of first aid training however with a focus on ensuring young people can reach and help young people who are distressed or spinning out.  Schools and community agencies are encouraged to contact Youthline for more details on this kit and additional resources that have been developed.

The project has been a joint initiative lead by young people from three organisations (Action Education, Blue Light and Youthline) working in partnership with support provided by the Ministry of Social Development Te Punanga Haumaru Fund.

Te Punanga Haumaru aims to build community ownership and a commitment to addressing bullying and has a preference for projects that are collaborative, have support from across the community and have a well-thought out plan to effect local change.