Ākonga Youth Development Community Fund

The Ministry of Youth Development (MYD) - Te Manatū Whakahiato Taiohi, in partnership with the Ministry of Education(MoE) – Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga, launched the Ākonga Youth Development Community Fund – Strengthening Ākonga Resilience to Achieve Better Education Outcomes (Ākonga Fund) in late 2020.

Background

The purpose of the Ākonga Fund is to support Iwi and community-based youth development providers to deliver programmes outside of traditional education settings (e.g. schools/kura) to support ākonga/learners (aged 12 to 21 years) who have been adversely affected by the impact of COVID-19 pandemic to stay engaged in their education journey.

In line with the Government’s Youth Plan, the Ākonga Fund has a particular focus on the following groups of young people:

  • Rangatahi Māori
  • Pacific young people
  • Rainbow young people
  • Disabled young people.

MYD is administering the Fund, which is a partnership initiative between MoE and MYD.

Funding Decisions

A table detailing the funding decisions for the Ākonga Fund covering the 2021 and 2022 calendar years is available here. The Fund has been extended for a further calendar year, from 01 January 2023 to 31 December 2023. The table will be updated in due course to reflect these funding decisions.

Progress of the Ākonga Youth Development Community Fund

At the end of Term 3 2022, a total of over 6,200 ākonga have been engaged in a programme through the Ākonga Youth Development Community Fund – Strengthening Ākonga Resilience to Achieve Better Education Outcomes (Ākonga Fund) since the end of 2020. This milestone exceeds the 5,500 ākonga expected to participate by the end of 2022, with term four updates still to come.

Of the 4,462 young people who have exited an Ākonga Fund programme so far, 95 per cent have established stronger community connections that can them and give them a higher chance of success. In addition, 83 per cent have achieved an education, training, or employment outcome.

The Ākonga Fund supports a wide range of programming and activities including:

  • 1:1 mentoring and tutoring to support education, training, and employment goals
  • individualised learning and development plans
  • group programmes outside of traditional school settings
  • activities to connect with whānau, peers, and community
  • volunteer and leadership opportunities
  • provision of unit standards leading to NCEA credits
  • work-readiness training and work placement opportunities.

As at the end of Term 3 2022, 45% of ākonga supported were rangatahi Māori, 24% were young Pacific young peoples. 2% were rainbow young people and 3% were disabled young people.