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Funding stories


Focus area: Social Inclusion
Photo credit: Susan Blick

RainbowYOUTH has been promoting the acceptance of the diversity of sexuality and gender in Aotearoa New Zealand since 1989.

RainbowYOUTH is an Auckland-based organisation that provides support, education and advocacy for queer and trans youth and their friends and families. Through services such as peer-support groups and drop-in centres, it aims to foster a diverse and inclusive environment that is a safe space in which to support their youth.

The RainbowYOUTH offices represent the largest dedicated LGBTIQ+ youth space in Auckland, and one of the few truly LGBTIQ+ youth-run spaces in the country. Since receiving Foundation North’s grant in 2017, RainbowYOUTH has been able to continue to deliver volunteer opportunities, workplace training and leadership opportunities to LGBTIQ+ young people.

During the past year, the organisation, which consists solely of young people, has successfully run 119 peer support group meetings (totalling 1,176 attendees) from its Auckland centre, which has also been visited by 3,068 young people (an average of 59 visitors per week). With a motto of “know who you are, be who you are” RainbowYOUTH is proud to affirm and empower young people from all walks of life, regardless of ability, religion, country, community and background.

“With Foundation North’s support this year we have moved closer to a future where all young people thrive in Aotearoa. LGBTIQ+ young people have been able to create community and connection because of Foundation North, and we are so grateful for the support. Naku te rourou, nau te rourou, ka ora ai te iwi – with your basket and my basket the people will live.”
- Frances Arns, Executive Director of RainbowYOUTH Incorporated