On The Road With Ranui 135
Named after the bus service that connects Ranui with central Auckland, this community-led youth trust is all about getting out there, connecting with, and bringing about positive outcomes for local youth. Back in 2002 when the trust was started, Ranui was hitting the headlines for all the wrong reasons. Education, crime and unemployment were major issues and so local residents decided to do something about it and Ranui 135 came into life. The initiative is still very much a grass-roots project and its aim is to engage local youngsters through positive events and activities while growing youth leadership and community pride.
The transport theme is still apparent today as one of the main ways Ranui 135 connects with young people is through a brightly coloured and very distinctive mobile caravan that takes them out and about to local communities. Another great medium for connecting with youth is music and $13,715 of Million Dollar Mission funding has been used to kit out the caravan with music gear and sound equipment. Million Dollar Mission is one of the ways The Trusts Give Back to West Auckland.
Ranui 135 can now engage with more young people and the wider community in public spaces. The caravan provides much-needed additional space for pop-up events, festivals and galas that bring people together, especially Ranui’s young population. It also means that Ranui 135 can partner with other groups and community initiatives and provide live musicians and a DJ to create a relaxed and engaging atmosphere at any event.
One very successful recent collaboration was with the Ranui Action Group at the Christmas in the Carpark event. The newly kitted out caravan meant that Ranui 135 could provide a local musician playing acoustic guitar hooked up to the caravan’s speakers as well as a DJ who was set up inside the caravan and entertained the crowds during breaks.
According to Emelita Zee Luisi, Ranui 135’s manager, this was a very successful collaboration with one local commenting, ‘I’m gonna miss my neighbourhood when I move. I love my Ranui community.’
This sense of instilling pride in the local community makes it all worthwhile for Ranui 135. The mobile caravan and the versatility offered by the music gear and sound equipment has made it easier for the project to reach out and connect with youngsters and the Ranui community generally.
Emelita sums it up by saying, ‘We would like to thank The Trusts Million Dollar Mission for believing in and supporting our vision for our young people and the wider community.’
For more information on Ranui 135 check out the website at www.ranui135.org.nz