The Steps for Life Foundation is a not-for-profit registered incorporated charity. It was originally established in 2010 to support youth in the drive against obesity. In 2021, the charity refocused its purpose on not only the drive against youth obesity; it has incorporated a holistic approach to the overall health and well being of youth.
Working with youth over the last decade proved there was more that needed to be done when addressing youth obesity and that the depth of the issue goes much deeper. Helping youth navigate through life challenges and obstacles they are facing is paramount in making inroads to the barriers facing youth obesity. Taking a holistic approach focusing on their physical, mental and emotional health is the key.
As a nation we have one of the highest rates of obesity and numbers are still climbing and unfortunately NZ youth obesity rates high on the world stage but so does our rate of youth suicide. There is also an increasing number of youth that suffer from anxiety and depression and official statistics don’t really give a true indication of just how high that rate is. A lot of youth don’t speak up and therefore aren’t included in the statistics, they suffer in silence.
One in two NZ kids are bullied and yet schools claim to have a zero tolerance of bullying and when they do deal with it, it’s the bullies that get the special treatment, leaving parents and victims with the aftermath.
Drug and alcohol abuse is rife among our youth and treated as coping mechanisms. Headlines across different media channels talk about the alarming number of crimes they commit.
When we look at all of these factors, our youth are screaming out for help. Our children are our future, and it is our responsibility to ensure they reach their full potential in life. The Steps for Life Foundation is committed to empowering young New Zealanders one step at a time, providing them with knowledge, tools and support.