Many organisations talk about the importance of collaboration, but few manage to do it as well as Te Mana o Kupe and Te Reanga Ipurangi Ōtaki Education Trusts. They have joined forces to introduce a programme to help lift educational achievement in 13 low-decile primary schools in Porirua East and six in Ōtaki.
The Todd Foundation has also collaborated with another organisation, the J R McKenzie Trust, to fund staffing costs for the project, which is modelled on the successful Manaiakalani project in Tamaki. It involves providing children with laptops to close the “digital divide” many families experience, and to help parents become more involved in their children’s learning.
The two trusts teamed up when they realised they were planning to do almost exactly the same thing in their local areas. As Te Mana o Kupe trustee Tricia Walbridge points out, it made financial sense to share things such as administrative support. “There’s no point in duplicating services,” she says.
The two boards are in regular email contact and they also hold joint board meetings. In another departure from tradition, the trusts report back to their funders at roundtable meetings attended by all four organisations.
“Sometimes you can put more energy into collaborating than you get out of it, but that hasn’t been the case here,” says Tricia. “The thing that really impresses me is the generosity of spirit – we’re all there for the good of the kids and the community.”
Todd Foundation is supporting Te Mana o Kupe with 2 years of funding from our General Fund, and J R McKenzie Trust are supporting Te Reanga Ipurangi Ōtaki Education Trust for this joint project.
For more information please see their website: www.tmok.org.nz