Thoje Hood and his family founded Toi Toi Manawa in 2012. It began as a funder and program operator in Canterbury, providing the free IGNITE program to young adults.
The course was inspired by Thoje’s interest and research into nutrition, food, water and well-being, as well as his interest in adult education. During focus groups with youth and students Thoje identified an essential need of this group not being met; access to good food. There seemed to be a lack of basic understanding in this age group about what good food was and the importance it had for their overall well-being.
The aim of the IGNITE course was to help young adults in a transition period to find rewarding careers, whether they were vocational or academic or business orientated, using the medium of biological and sustainable farming practices to produce food. Participants were able to further their own research or business ideas while being supported to better understand wellness and its over arching impact on life.
In 2013 Thoje and his family moved to Tauranga and they considered running the IGNITE course here. However it became apparent they could have a bigger impact by supporting other projects within the community.
Toi Toi Manawa has held its values of supporting community through keeping a focus on health and overall well-being. Instead of running courses that although were well supported and informative, they were not having a far enough reach or having enough of an impact on the community.
Toi Toi Manawa is looking forward to providing seed funding to social enterprises working with youth in our community with its key component addressing values of health or food.
To support this endeavour we are building a vibrant community of social enterprises who will work co-operatively, benefiting and strengthening one another. Our hope is that collectively they can have a bigger voice and greater impact in our community, for the benefit of generations to come.
Our hope and dream for the future is a collaborative, tight-knit community of social enterprises focussed on creating a sustainable, thriving environment for our families. A place where we understand and value our surroundings, nutrition, wellness and the impact of each of these on our physical, mental and emotional bodies.
We want for our community what every family wishes for themselves - a holistic approach to our lives. We are committed to realising this dream with you.