NZ - Turning Te Kura Big Picture learning into an opportunity to help kids in need

Te Kura ākonga (student) Bailey has turned his passion for fixing things, working with his hands, and helping kids in need into a thriving charity.  

For the last two years, Bailey has been a member of The Summit, the intensive Te Kura Big Picture huinga ako (advisory) based in West Auckland, New Zealand. Last year, while riding his bike around the neighbourhood, Bailey noticed an old kids’ bicycle on the side of the road with a ‘FREE’ sign attached. He brought the bike home to fix up.

“I saw a video on YouTube with this guy who was fixing up old bikes to resell. I thought: ‘Hey, why not fix bikes up and give them to kids in need?'"

Bailey decided to use this idea as his passion project, developing his mechanical skills and starting up a charity, Bailey’s Bikes for Kids. After designing a logo with the help of a friend who is a graphic designer, Bailey built a Facebook page that people could use to nominate kids who needed bikes or to make contact to donate. Advice and ideas came from his parents, mentors, advisory mates and teachers to help grow his charity. Within a few months, Bailey went from fixing up and giving away that first bike, to having dozens of bikes to give away and many kids to help.

Connections with the local council, bike shops, donors and mentors have helped Bailey’s charity get off the ground. He now hopes to make his success not only pay off for the kids he originally set out to help, but also to gain NCEA credits. Bailey’s motivation has been grounded in doing something productive rather than sitting around the house.  

“Giving bikes to kids in need makes me feel good that I can give my time and skills to help others.”

Next steps for Bailey? “I want to learn some new skills like welding and fabrication, building and designing things. I need to learn how to run a small business, manage people and make network connections.”  

Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu (Te Kura) is New Zealand’s state distance education provider, offering a wide range of programmes from early childhood through to NCEA Level 3. Te Kura’s vision is that ‘students achieve their educational and personal goals, enabling them to participate effectively as members of their communities’.

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