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Funding stories

Niu Ola Trust

Focus area: Social Inclusion
Niu Ola Trust

Niu Ola has been enhancing the lives of Pacific people with disabilities since 2009.

Niu Ola was set up to provide social services for the Pacific community, catering to people with mental and intellectual disabilities. The organisation offers several free services centred around advocacy, delivery and empowerment – these include health and wellbeing educational workshops, mentoring support for parents of people with disabilities, and emergency transport assistance for families to attend activities. Their programmes seek to empower participants by giving them opportunities to socialise and make friends, increasing their self-confidence, and helping to increase their sense of belonging and inclusion in the wider community.

Last year a Foundation North grant enabled Niu Ola to deliver dance classes for those with disabilities and their families. The programme uses popular dance such as the haka to increase mobility, identify unrecognised potential and build social skills and confidence.

“The overall purpose of this programme was to target people living with a disability in our communities to keep active, encouraged and engaged. Our participants and families have reported that the classes provided emotional and mental benefits and the nonverbal aspect of the dance movement and therapy aided their communication, social and emotional development. Foundation North gives our Trust encouragement and the funding stability to serve our community and to continue to be agents of empowerment and social change. On behalf of our Trust and all our whānau – Ngā Mihi Nui, Fa’afetai, Ko Batin Raba, Malo ‘Aupito, Meitaki Ma’ata, Vinaka Vaka Levu, Fakaaue Lahi, Fakafetai Lasi – Thank you!”
- Robert Loto, Chairman of Niu Ola Trust