Auckland Airport is giving $10,000 each to 12 charities as part of its annual 12 Days of Christmas initiative. The Herald is profiling each initiative in the lead up to the big day. The $120,000 came from change dropped off by travellers at the airport this year.

Communication is a vital part of human development, but it is something that many of us are simply not taught.

Action Education sets about doing just that.

Using spoken word and performance as a platform, it helps teenagers learn how to express themselves.

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"We have had participants who have come through our workshops where at the beginning they felt they did not have the confidence to speak in front of a handful of people," an Action Education spokesperson said.

"By the end of the programmes were able to stand up and tell their stories to hundreds at a time."

Using the money from Auckland Airport's grant, Action Education will bring about 80 teens together for a slam poetry camp.


The teenagers will use elements of drama, speech making and debating disciplines to express themselves in a unique way.

"It is an especially powerful medium for people to express themselves in front of an audience of their peers.

"It combines many of the best elements of English, drama, speech and debate.

"Slam poetry is a game, invented to build community and audience for poetry. In recent years we have seen the exponential growth of spoken word or slam poetry in popular culture," the spokesperson said.

The camp will host teenagers from 14 different schools with all kinds of backgrounds.
"The focus of this weekend is whanaungatanga which is to get to know one another, to build and strengthen relationships.

"This is an amazing opportunity which literally changes the lives for those who attend," the spokesperson said.

Auckland Airport was keen to support Action Education in its bid to help young people.

"Action Education's programmes are helping rangatahi build the workplace skills employers are looking for – skills like communication and confidence," said Auckland Airport's general manager of people and safety, Anna Cassels-Brown.