Helena Henare-Coolen

New Zealand Site Director

Helena supports all participants on our New Zealand programs, acting as the main point of contact throughout their stay in the country. She coordinates airport pickup, arranges housing, leads cultural excursions, and manages the 24-hour onsite emergency phone.

Kia ora my name is Helena – I have learned that there is a shared humanity which unites all of us. There is an amazing power in serving others and being the change we want to see in the world. There is an authenticity that comes from aligning our actions with our values. And there is a strong desire to be inspired. I often feel frustrated that there is a lack of media dedicated to the social sector and developing social capital. There are not enough storytelling outlets for the great things everyday people and communities are doing to address serious social issues. There are plenty that report on the big news: war, death, crime, politics, tragedy, etc. That leaves little time to hear more about humanity, social engagement, and individuals, organizations and groups who are making a real difference.

So let me tell you my story and what brought me to my role as CEO of Film For Change tasked with taking the organization from a Charity to a Social Enterprise that creates sustainable social change. I have lived for over thirty years with my feet in the corporate world where I belonged to organizations that focused on making money and managing people whilst disregarding the fundamental values that were important to them. My journey to living an authentic life has been full of valuable lessons. I see the real strength in sharing knowledge connection and engagement.

My “strengths” perspective highlights people’s assets and abilities, not their deficits and limitations. For self-determination efforts to be successful, we must create opportunities for working together, and increase the positive consequences of community action.

Addressing what matters to people – equitable access to good health, social inclusion, education, and jobs, for example — is beyond any one of us as an individual change makers.

The idea of “ecology” — interactions among people and their environment — helps us see community action as occurring within a web of relationships. At Film for Change we are implementing a sustainable business model and social investment strategy that focuses on our people and clients equally enjoying a return on their investment. We are developing a web of relationships with partners who work with us as their ‘Go to- Storyteller in Film’.

So working with Film for Change will provide you the opportunity to not only ‘walk your talk’ but introduce you to an innovative leading Social Investment and Change movement. For more detail check me out on Linked In

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