Waimangu Volcanic Valley welcomed a group from Big Brothers Big Sisters to celebrate 5 years of the programme operating in Rotorua.
Big Brothers Big Sisters match children aged 6-11 years with adult mentors in a professionally and culturally supported one-to-one relationship.
Children and their mentors meet up regularly, normally once a week and group events like this are organised twice a year. The group is delivering some exceptional outcomes. Independent studies have found that young people involved in this programme are more likely to succeed in school and avoid risky behaviours.
David Remmerswaal, one of the mentors, said they were looking for somewhere special for this celebration.
“Being a local organisation, we wanted to celebrate somewhere of local significance. Many of the kids and mentors had never been to Waimangu” he said.
'Big Brother' David Remmerswaal and his 'Little Brother' Logan Poate.
Nearly 50 little brothers and sisters along with their mentors were treated to a guided tour and boat cruise of Lake Rotomahana with Waimangu General Manager, David Blackmore, who was happy to support the cause.
“We consider ourselves fortunate to have been able to welcome a really cool organisation like this filled with such great people doing really great work to strengthen our community” said David.
There are currently about 50 matches in Rotorua. The 5th birthday celebration has also helped the charity raise some profile, and new mentors have been signing up.