Sharing Hope: Co-creating understandings of what gives young people hope

A summary of what it reveals for those who care for or support young people

How can you foster hope in rangatahi? Information for people supporting rangatahi

Young people do better in life when they feel a sense of hope – when they have a future focus and faith in their future and that of the people close to them, the wider community or their environment. Hope motivates and gives rangatahi a sense of purpose.

The Collaborative Trust, with generous support from the Oakley Foundation recently completed some youth-led research exploring the concept of hope, what it means for rangatahi, what builds feelings of hope and what gets in the way of feeling hopeful. We asked young people how we can help young people feel more hopeful.

We know is easier for rangatahi to feel a sense of hope when they:

have access to the financial resources and opportunities needed to support their hopes

are aware of their mental and physical health and understand the needs of their hauora /


have supportive whānau and friends around them who accept them for who they are

feel good about themselves

have access to the practical and emotional supports they need in order to thrive


And its much trickier for rangatahi to feel a sense of hope when:

poverty is a big part of their journey

opportunities are limited

people judge them and decide things about them and what they are capable of based on

their ethnicity, disability, gender, sexuality, age, faith etc.

people close to them try to control them

they face mental and physical health challenges and its hard to access supports to

overcome these

they don’t believe in themselves

they lack influence and feelings of power to be able to change things for the better


Rangatahi told us a lot about how they could help themselves to feel more hopeful. They also told us a lot about how young people could help their friends and others around them.

What can we do as a community to support rangatahi to feel more hopeful?


Be supportive – love your kids for who they are, celebrate their success and generally uplift and affirm them

Check in on young people often, listen to them and spend time with them

As much as you are able, provide ways to help them towards their goals

Advocating for young people


Affirm young people in their goals – build their confidence and self-belief and challenge them to pursue their aspirations

Actively build self-knowledge and awareness in young people, and communicate better with whānau about how they can best support their rangatahi

Offer consistent support to young people

Ensure availability of strong individual pastoral care

Advocate strongly for resourcing to overcome financial hardship

Community (marae, clubs, youth groups, religious organisations):

Involve young people in decisions that affect them

Operate in a fair and respectful manner, and make sure rangatahi feel safe

Be welcoming to all rangatahi - encourage and foster connection

Ensure that supports are available for young people who are struggling, and that these

supports are accessible

Embrace diversity and take an inclusive approach

Decision makers (local and central government, funding bodies etc.):

Get more involved with young people - engage and listen to them, make youth-informed decisions

Invest more strongly in proactive mental health systems

Make Healthcare more affordable, empathetic and foster autonomy

Increase disability awareness, and improve opportunities for people with disabilities

Reduce inequality

Recognise and embrace diversity

Support young people towards their hopes and dreams

Encourage Government to take a long-term focus


Some of the rangatahi interviewed in our research were asked to identify a whakatauki, a proverb, that captured hope.

Ka mate kainga tahi, ka ora kainga rua

This tells us that from challenges come the opportunities to make positive change to the world we live in.

If you want to find out more about this research, check out The Collaborative Trust’s website, We have a training workshop developed from this research: get in touch via the website to book.