Young people were at the heart of a two-day wānanga (workshop) hosted by Eastern and Central Community Trust (ECCT) at Pukemokimoki Marae, Napier, recently.
Twenty-one rangatahi from regions ECCT distributes to (Horowhenua, Wairarapa, Tararua, Hawke’s Bay and Te Tairāwhiti) attended the wānanga, which launched the organisation’s new Rangatahi Project, established to guide its funding to young people (aged 10-24 years) for the next five years.
The group discussed and shared their ideas, struggles, dreams and aspirations with their peers and then met with the ECCT Board on the second day to present their collective thoughts and suggestions.
Common themes that emerged from the wānanga was that rangatahi wish for their voices to be heard, they need safe places, youth spaces and better access to transport.
One participant, Molly Fuauli of Horowhenua, said being in a space with mentors that shared similar goals and had the same passion and drive for our rangatahi sparked intriguing conversations.
“We naturally bounced off each other’s energies, the space was always buzzing. What an opportunity!” Molly says.
Eastern & Central Community Trust Chair, Shelly Mitchell-Jenkins, says the Rangatahi Project came out of a Board strategic planning session, where members expressed the desire to do more than just give.
“We want to give meaningfully to make a difference to the regions we serve,” Shelly says.
“To help us do this, ECCT is partnering with rangatahi to develop an action plan in a way that honours the Mana Taiohi principles for Aotearoa’s youth development sector and supports whai wāhitanga (young people’s participation).
“The action plan will be based on what young people tell us is important to them.”
Image caption: Buzzing after a great Rangatahi Project wananga at Pukemokimoki Marae left: Piripi Ropitini (Nuhaka), Eastern & Central Community Trust Chair, Shelly Mitchell-Jenkins, Wiremu Rupapere (Wairarapa), Eastern & Central Community Trust General Manager, Jonathan Bell, Molly Fuauli (Levin), Jy Henare-Casford (Eketahuna).