A kaupapa Māori driven, mental health masterclass delivered online for teachers and parents.
Aotearoa has an ongoing youth mental health crisis. Teachers and parents are not equipped with effective ways to support young people. TAIORA provides a solution.
TAIORA is an evidence-based online training giving teachers and parents the confidence and the skills to support young people through mental health challenges.
Over the past 10 years, the team have been running their mental health programs through a charitable trust, The Kindness Institute which has become a leader in mental health education, having supported thousands of young people. The programs have been delivered kanohi ki te kanohi (face to face/in person) and have seen incredible results. The University of Waikato found a 12% increase in positive emotions and a 12% decrease in negative emotions amongst participants. We’ve also found decreases in anxiety, and depression, and increases in empathy, trust, self-worth, identity, and communication.
Co-Founder Kristina Cavit became a member of the NZ Order of Merit for her ground-breaking youth mental health mahi and Co-Founder Brady Polkinghorne has extensive digital advertising and platform experience, working on Headspace website and app development in the UK.
In the wake of Covid-19 and lockdowns, it’s widely reported the youth mental health crisis in Aotearoa has worsened, with mental health practitioners advising; that ‘rates of psychological difficulties among children and teenagers were rising before the emergence of Covid-19 and have got “significantly worse” since the pandemic started.’ NZ Herald, 19.02.22
Armed with the tools to make a meaningful difference the TAIORA team knows that the time to act is now!
Over the past 3 months of Kōkiri, TAIORA sold out their MVP which was an online training with participants from Aotearoa, Australia, and Europe. They received incredible feedback and further validation in the form of additional paid sign-ups to their online Beginners Mindfulness course.
They have recently designed a meditation app for Matariki funded by the Ministry of Education, and are currently creating an upcoming national Mindfulness campaign funded by the Mental Health Foundation.
Over the next 6 months, TAIORA plan to get $150,000 in grants to fund the development of the online course, carry out branding and marketing and build their community to 3000 members.
In 12 months we aim to have a $300,000 equity raise, onboard an ed-tech partner to reach a wider, existing audience. And have expanded courses available for whānau/parents and a community of 8000 members.
TAIORA currently needs 6 businesses to sponsor 50 teachers each at a rate of $25,000 per 50 teachers. They are also seeking match funding of $150,000 to get them to market. Achieving this will mean that thousands of young people are positively impacted!
Kristina Cavit, Brady Polkinghorne (Ngāti Tamaterā) and Te Aorangi-Kowhai Morini (Waikato, Tainui, Ngāpuhi).
The TAIORA team has most enjoyed having an amazing group of people backing their kaupapa and who believe in the mission they are working to achieve, investing in TAIORA with their mātauranga. This support has allowed them to take what was just an idea, through ahwi and tautoko of their coach, advisors, speakers as well as the other Kōkiri participants, to having a business developed.
Kristina says “We came in with an idea, knew what we wanted to do, had some validation, but now we’ve got the whole business, the model, got to know our customers, really validated, run an MVP, know where we’re going from here. It’s given us so much structure.”
Brady’s view is similar “Before we knew it was a cool idea, knew we had the community demand but didn’t know how to do it. We also didn’t have the time, but Kōkiri has made us make the time, and prioritise this.”
Coming through Kōkiri has helped the TAIORA team feel more assured, enabled, and they are more energised and enthused to do more, than ever before.
Some elements that have made a big difference to the TAIORA team include one-to-one time with pitch coach, Michael Moka, whose advice and suggestions have been incredible. In addition, input from their advisors, such as Jackson Rowland from the Akina Foundation, provides tailored input that’s spot on for what is needed at the right time.
Another powerful contributor to TAIORA’s progress over the past 12 weeks is the programme content, “All of the detailed business stuff, IP, legal, copyright, customer validation, took my vague ideas and made them clear…The learnings were major. Everything is practical, built for purpose.”
The TAIORA team believe others should sign up for Kōkiri “For the acceleration of your business. The level of excellence and quality makes the time invested really worth it. Every speaker and wānanga learnings have been such quality.”
They go on to say “It’s hard to find a programme like this, that is Māori, and kaupapa Māori support and understanding and whānau aspect. To take your biz seriously and get going, with the connections. Everyone is willing to help, being through Kōkiri it feels like VIP access to these connections. The whole environment is lifting everyone up. You will feel that everyone really cares and is taking you seriously.”