Youth encouraged to be vocal about a new Pacific Vision
(Picture caption: Kiwi Can students and their leader AJ Leaga at Pomaria School in Henderson, Auckland.)
High visibility and helping young people to really understand the new Pacific Vision and how they each contribute to that vision whether they are at school, church or university is essential for it to succeed.
John Fale, the Programme Co-ordinator (Kiwi Can) for the Graeme Dingle Foundation in Manukau / Papakura strongly believes this, and says there needs to be more inclusion around diversity for our Pacific young people, including the LGBT community.
The Graeme Dingle Foundation has 37 Pacific leaders out in our communities all around the country, and a significant presence in South Auckland where it has over 8,000 kids in Project K, Stars and Kiwi Can programmes.
Due to its involvement with Pacific communities throughout New Zealand, the Ministry for Pacific Peoples (MPP) recently ran a workshop with John and his team, around the new Pacific Vision it is making a reality.
Currently in its second month of engagements with Pacific communities around New Zealand, MPP is sourcing grassroots information about what the new Pacific Vision looks and feels like; what is needed in order to achieve thriving and vibrant Pacific families; what values should be held onto and promoted; and how do Pacific people contribute to making New Zealand a far better country than it has ever been.
In November, the Ministry is hosting a Summit, where this information will be disseminated and a strategic vision announced for New Zealand’s Pacific which will strengthen a Pacific Vision for the new generation of Pacific people who call Aotearoa their home.
Founded 24 years ago by Sir Graeme Dingle and Lady Jo-anne Wilkinson in response to New Zealand’s terrible youth statistics the Foundation helps over 25,000 kids every year with more than 250,000 children passing through its programmes to date.
“We think a fair society owes every child the opportunity to thrive, belong and contribute to society,” John says.
“Really, we want every child to know that what they have inside is greater than any obstacle they might meet on the outside.”
He says the Foundation has set up what it calls Transformational Journey via three school-based programmes: Kiwi Can, Stars and Career Navigator target children and young people aged five through 18, guiding them on a path that sets them up with a strong platform for adult life and their careers.
It also has two specialised programmes - Project K and MYND - which help young people with a specific profile, selected or referred to these programmes.
The Foundation has a vision that by 2050, Aotearoa will be the best place in the world for kids to grow up - including all Pacific peoples.
John is excited about MPP’s recent engagement and enthusiasm around the Pacific Vision, and says he is completely 100 percent on-board with the project as it ties in with the Foundation’s vision.
“The Graeme Dingle Foundation’s vision of making New Zealand the best place in the world for kids to grow up is strongly aligned with MPP’s vision for more Successful Pacific Peoples, and we are very keen to work with partners across the public and private sectors to make sure every child thrives and no child is left behind,” he adds.
It is great MPP is engaging with young people and giving them a voice in our community, John continues.
“I am keen to see what actions will fall out of the workshop and what support will be put around the key points that were raised.
“The level of consultation being sought around the Pacific Vision is fantastic and it will be great to see progress finally being made.”
A working party of young people deeply involved in decision-making and processes to enable more transparency and meaningful consultation would be wonderful to see, he says.
Currently, MPP is asking New Zealand’s Pacific peoples to fill out a short survey to contribute to their findings for the upcoming Summit.
Be part of the Pacific Aotearoa movement and share your thoughts and ideas by taking the online survey HERE.