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Noteworthy - Shake Up

Friday, February 13, 2015

Matt Browning is a part of a small group of friends that we have been meeting with every Thursday night since we arrived. Within the safety of this group, we have shared our lives with one another... praying prayers, telling stories, sharing meals, shedding tears, and encouraging dreams. Matt arrived in Rotorua shortly before us. He left the security of a lucrative job to pursue a dream. 

Shake Up is a social enterprise designed to address youth unemployment, through job training and mentor relationships. "We are establishing a ‘smoothies, soups & coffee’ caravan so that struggling young people can receive wages from selling food – while also receiving practical certification, valuable work experience and further learning. Though our first priority is empowering our youth, we will operate as a business in order to stay sustainable – and after a set period of time we will help the young people find further employment – allowing us to take on a new group of youth. We aim to provide employers the trust to hire our currently-unemployed young people."

It has been a joy getting to know Matt and watching this dream come to fruition. After completing a successful crowdfunding campaign, the caravan has been purchased, the renovations are underway... and very soon Shake Up will open for business.

Last Sunday, we had a neighborhood business meeting with Matt. He taught us a little bit about social enterprise, explained why it is important to have job experience, and gave us some "insider information" about the Shake Up menu. We got to ask lots of questions and took a field trip to the Shake Up caravan work site. It was a great experience.

We are thankful to have known Matt during our time in Rotorua, and excited to see how Shake Up impacts the community over the next several years. Well done Matt Browning! 

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