YWCA seeking Maori womens groups to fund

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This year, the YWCA of Greater Wellington celebrates 20 years of supporting local Maori womens projects and programmes through their grant programme, the Maori Womens Transfer Fund. For Maori Language Week, they are calling for early applications for Maori womens projects in the region.

The YWCAs Fund, available only to Maori wahine in Te Whanganui-a-Tara (Wellington), was established 20 years ago with donations from individuals and organisations and is kept solely to assist M ?ori womens projects. says YWCA of Greater Wellingtons Executive Director Makere Derbyshire

Whare Tukutuku a group of Maori tukutuku weavers received funding from the May 2010 round, towards art work framing for an exhibition which will be held at the Iwi Art Gallery on Tory Street, Wellington during the month of August.

Previously the Fund has supported recording waiata (songs) in English and Maori for Ngati Kahungunu women and their whanau. The waiata have been recorded onto mp3 files and can be played when practicing on iPods.

Derbyshire wants to see more applications for the Fund. We want to encourage more wahine to apply for the Fund, especially for projects that could involve promoting or protecting the Maori language. says Derbyshire.

We have a small team of Maori volunteers who make the funding decisions, and the YWCA has, for 20 years, provided the resource to administer the fund at no cost. That means every cent donated to the Fund is given back to local wahine (Maori women).

YWCA of Greater Wellington President, Vanisa Dhiru says, The YWCA has administered 85 grants totalling over $50,000 over 20 years. Thats many gifts from Wellington women who have contributed to the Fund over 20 years. Its important that the YWCA ensures more grants are given to Maori women projects in Wellington.

We want more Maori women to apply to the Fund, which has two rounds per year in May and October. The YWCA wants to help more Maori womens projects, including anything that educates or protects the Maori language.

Applications to the YWCAs Maori Womens Transfer Fund should be for amounts between $200 and $500. The total funding pool allocated across all applications is around $1,500 per year. For more information, go to www.wgtnywca.org.nz

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