Luxury Rail Trail and I have a Dream’s Rail Trail Experience
In December , Luxury Rail Trail hosted 10 teenagers from the I Have A Dream Foundation on a 4 day Rail Trail Adventure, accompanied by two adult navigators and the founder of the IHAD foundation in NZ, Scott Gilmour with his wife Mary. Luxury Rail Trail is a long time supporter of this amazing charity which is focussed on long-term solutions to inter-generational poverty.
A little about the Foundation
Using an evidence-based, whole-child approach, IHAD work with Kiwi kids for 15 years, from their first years at school until they move on to tertiary study or employment. We provide wraparound services and do whatever it takes to keep each of our Dreamers on track – because we know that giving kids access to the support and resources they need will lead to academic and life success.
The heart of the I Have a Dream programme is our Navigators. These full-time adult advocates work one-to-one with the children in each year level, providing consistent, caring adults whom Dreamers can rely on for their entire 15-year journey with us. Navigators have a formal relationship with the school they work in and follow their assigned group of Dreamers through primary, secondary, and tertiary education to provide consistent academic oversight, advocacy, and support. They also engage with the children’s whānau and the wider community.
In 2016, I Have a Dream started the Ngātahi Education Initiative in four low-decile schools in the Whangārei suburbs of Tikipunga and Otangarei. Meaning “together as one”, this programme aims to show how long-term educational investment in a generation of local children will have a positive collective impact on the community as a whole. I Have a Dream Navigators are currently working with over 700 Kiwi kids in these four Dream Partner schools, with the goal of forging pathways into tertiary education or employment for each participating child, regardless of their family’s social or financial circumstances.
For over 10 years, I Have a Dream has continually engaged professional researchers to evaluate our programme on an annual basis, to measure our progress against our objectives, and to propose any adaptations to our methodologies.
The IHAD Trail Adventure
The weather didn’t exactly cooperate – lots of wind, rain, even snow on the hills and more wind, BUT all members of the group showed some real guts and determination and cycled the entire 150km of the Rail Trail! We are so proud of them! One young man who hadn’t had much cycling experience at all managed to do a bit more every day and did 27km on the last day in the rain and sleet ! An amazing spirit shown by the whole group through very testing conditions!
A big thank you to everyone on and around the Otago Central Rail Trail who helped us put this experience together for the students and a big big shout out for our friends listed below that provided their services free of charge.
- Go Orange Queenstown – an awesome jet boat ride
- Canyon Food and Brew Queenstown – pizzas for everyone
- Muddy Creek Omakau – free tasty burgers and fries
- Ophir Lodge – free ice cream!
- Waipiata Country Hotel – best pies in NZ
- Taieri Gorge Train – great mates rates
We would also like to thank the following locations for allowing us to have the group there:
- Antique Motel Clyde
- Wedderburn Lodge and Cottages
- Hyde School Accommodation and Eatery
- Tiger Hill Lodge Omakau and Clyde
Luxury Rail Trail and Tiger Hill Lodge will be making this an annual event that is of huge long term benefit to the students and the greater NZ community. We look forward to everyone’s support in what ever capacity that may be for 2020.