RE: COOL BANANAS MAJOR UPDATE

 

As a valued stakeholder in the ministry of the Cool Bananas Youthwork Trust, we are excited to be writing to update you on our journey through 2020, and our plans for the immediate future. This includes developments that we believe to be significant for this amazing ministry.

 

We Give Thanks


We are very thankful for the support that you have provided to Cool Bananas, and wish to acknowledge that without the generosity and prayerful commitment provided by yourself and other likeminded folk, the Cool Bananas Vision; To See Children of Aotearoa New Zealand to Thrive, would be extremely challenging to deliver. Thank you.

 

Our Challenge

As you will have experienced, 2020 was an extremely challenging year for individuals and organisations alike as we all sought to adjust to life during a pandemic. Cool Bananas, like so many others, has had to reflect, adapt, and re-focus in order to continue to deliver our programs in an environment where many of our traditional methods of delivery (presenters in schools, school holiday programmes, camps, and Christmas shows) were unable to proceed. Fortunately, Cool Bananas is blessed with a very talented team who were able to adapt in a short time in order to produce high quality content for delivery online.

 

Team Reflection

Through a series of Day Retreats the Board and Management have taken time out to pray and reflect on what it means to be Cool Bananas Youthwork Trust in the current environment. The challenge that we faced was how best to deliver programmes that; remain true to the Trust Charter, reach our target audience in a meaningful way, and are able to cater for a changing regulatory environment (Religious Instruction Opt-In Bill), whilst in the midst of a global pandemic.

 

Revelations

There were a number of valuable outcomes from our times of reflection including;

  • Our reach potential is much greater than we had previously considered once we combine our physical, online, and TV audiences
  • We have a unique opportunity to develop biblically based content for delivery in an increasingly secular environment
  • We have the potential to become a resource centre for both Christian and secular communities alike
  • We have an highly talented mix of creative and production staff able to delivery high quality content sought after by both the media and education sectors alike
  • Cool Bananas Mission; ‘’To Provide safe, professional & motivating programs for children that teach standards and values from a biblical perspective’’,continues to be relevant in our current environment

 

The Plan for this Year

As a result of the above reflections, the following is a summary of our plan for the year ahead;

  • Cool Bananas will shift from being “the brand” to being the umbrella organisation under which multiple brands will operate
  • A new brand called “Thrive” has been created which will deliver Ministry of Education aligned Values programs into schools. Thrive will deliver online programs for use by teachers and principals in the classroom setting and will have a full range of supporting resources. It is currently being trialled and has received excellent reviews. Check out the link www.coolbananas.org.nz/online for more details
  • We will utilise www.youtube.com/blellotv for the delivery of online programs into the Christian community as well as via social media and TV media – eg Shine & Hei Hei
  • We will focus on online programmes primarily this year as we continue to face uncertainty in a Covid environment, and as we seek to explore the possibility of Cool Bananas meeting the needs of children throughout all of Aotearoa New Zealand
  • We will build a valuable resource library able to be utilised by both Christian and secular partner organisations for maximum impact

 

 

What’s Changing?

  • A major short-term shift towards the provision of online content with a temporary (and necessary) pause on physical programs for 2021, bring on 2022
  • A deliberate demarcation between overtly Christian content (delivered via Blello) and Christian inspired content (delivered via Thrive) specifically for the Education sector

 

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  • ­­­­A focus on growing the reach of the Cool Bananas from 10-15 schools in the Bay of Plenty to impacting the lives of 150,000 + children throughout Aotearoa New Zealand!

 

How You Can Help

  • Please pray for our talented team as they plan and execute on a daily basis. Their commitment and passion for this Ministry is inspiring.
  • And, yes of course you can continue to support Cool Bananas financially. Like many Charities our income has been affected as a result of the impact that Covid has had on those who have faithfully supported us personally as well as the Charities from whom we have received grants in the past.

 

We hope this letter has been helpful in informing you of the happenings at Cool Bananas over the last year and that you (like us) are excited by our Vision for 2021 and beyond to reach 150,000 + children from Kaitaia to Bluff with messages of love, hope, forgiveness, and acceptance, as taught from a Christian perspective.

 

 Thanks for partnering with us.

 

Wayne Fraser                                                  Kyle Keogh

CB Chair                                                          Co-ordinator