Challenge for Growth in NZSL

Challenge for Growth in NZSL will allow deaf children and teenagers, and their whānau/families, throughout New Zealand to develop positive relationships with positive role models; leadership skills; self-esteem; and confidence, while being exposed to NZSL in a variety of settings.

The participants will also have the opportunity to observe and learn strategies that Deaf people use when navigating the world. By using NZSL to build resilience and to recognise their potential within, deaf children/young people will have greater opportunity for a more fulfilling, productive and satisfying lifestyle.

The Wellington Boys’ and Girls’ Institute (BGI) and ENNOBLE will partner to run Challenge for Growth in NZSL, the NZSL Mentoring Programme connecting children and families with adult mentors using NZSL as the mode of communication.

BGI is a youth mentoring organisation based in Wellington City. BGI offers a range of youth programmes including mentoring, youth groups, youth leadership and family support. Their heart is in developing young people holistically and relationally (physical, psychological, spiritual and social).

BGI Director Ross Davis says, “This is a good fit and an exciting opportunity for BGI, as we bring to the ‘Challenge for Growth in NZSL’ our experience in running the successful and highly-regarded ‘Challenge for Change’ programme”.

“Unique features of the programme are the involvement of the whole whānau and the high standard of training for volunteers.”

Rachel Noble is Deaf herself, and is the Director of ENNOBLE based in Wellington. “I look forward to rolling out the Challenge for Growth in NZSL programme and the benefits it will provide for Deaf children and young people.”

“As well as working closely with the BGI, I will also be working with Debra Bellon in Auckland, a parent of a deaf child who is familiar with the concept of sign language mentors from her work with similar programmes in the United States.”   

Ross Lienert, the Chair of the Big Brothers Big Sisters of New Zealand’s Board, which used to run the NZSL programme, says, “We were delighted to work with Rachel Noble in the early part of her quest to provide mentoring services to deaf children, while we had the resources available to do so. Big Brothers Big Sisters is committed to making mentoring services available to all youth who would benefit from a mentor, including those in the Deaf community. We’re very pleased to see that on-going support for the programme is been provided through the BGI team in Wellington.”

The programme will receive funding of $86,105.34, including additional funding of $5,205.34 to provide regional activities and assistance with mentor training run by the New Zealand Youth Mentoring Network.

For more information or to enquire about joining the programme, please contact Rachel Noble,, text 021 410 300.

Relevant links:


Challenge for Growth in NZSL


Tell us what you think

Page last updated: