The Art of Loving Me

journal is the culmination of a project four Paraparaumu College students have been working on since July last year through the Shift Foundation's Shift Challenge.

The journal was designed by the students to inspire self-love in girls and women of all ages.

The Shift Challenge is a fully funded initiative designed to improve the wellbeing of young women by increasing awareness on topical issues, reducing barriers to participate in physical activities by providing low cost activities, potential financial support and empowering young women to create change.

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After hearing a presentation about Shift and thinking it sounded fun, Year 12 students Chantel Jones, Noa Grinberg, Ella Kirby and Hannah Stroud signed up as a group and were assigned a mentor, Jemma Jeffs, a business owner who runs Yoga Rhapsody in Wellington.

Meeting every month, "She guided us, brought our ideas back to earth and helped and supported us throughout the whole journey," Noa said.

"We started with all these ideas on paper, just picked one and then the whole idea came together really quickly," Chantel said.

Talking to the girls, their enthusiasm for the project was obvious.

Choosing self-love as a topic event though a number of other groups had also chosen it, Ella said.

"We all felt really strongly about self-love.

"It's something we saw in our college that wasn't there, the presence of self-love.

"We thought 'yup, this is relevant to us' so we said let's go."

Chantel said,"It didn't feel like that much work because it was so much fun."

The project has been two-fold in the impact it has had.

While the journal is the external outcome of the project, designed to help others improve their self-esteem, the project has had a profound impact on the group who made it.

"Even just learning to work together and contribute to each other's ideas has been amazing," Hannah said.

"It was just so moving creating something together that we were so passionate about," Chantel said.

Already the group has had feedback from peers who have bought the journal and are impressed.

"They didn't realise how authentic it is and that the drawings were hand done," Noa said.

"Knowing we had this idea, a little spark, and being able to create something that may have an impact on other people's lives and help them have a more positive outlook on themselves and the situations around them is what matters.

The journal features the girls own drawings and can be brought from the Shift website for $15 with all proceeds going back into the Shift Foundation.

www.shiftnz.org