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Faiva Ora Leaders contribute to DPA Fono

As a parent of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Lealofi Sio makes a significant contribution and brings valuable and personal experience to the Faiva Ora Leadership Group (FOLG).

The purpose of the FOLG is to:

  • provide quality advice and support to the Ministry of Health and its funded disability support services on issues relating to Pasifika people with disabilities, their family members and aiga
  • advise on the implementation of the Faiva Ora National Pasifika Disability Plan
  • support community initiatives to reduce negative attitudes and stigma towards Pasifika people with disabilities.

Wellington greeted the first day of the Disabled Persons Assembly (DPA) Pasifika Fono with perfect weather, not the typical weather we hear about from the ‘09 DPA. 

New chair, Pati Umaga, coordinated a Pasifika Fono to discuss a number of items but for the first day it was discussion about and providing feedback towards a piece of work that had been piloted earlier this year. There was also a lot of discussion about a pilot programme that links to the United Nations Convention Rights of People with Disabilities or UNCRPD.  It was an exciting discussion that asked questions about how we acknowledge Pasifika. I look forward to seeing the programme when it gets delivered again.  

The Fono was planned for two days, and as a parent representative it was awesome to be allowed to be present just for the first day. Fono participants came from a range of backgrounds and it was awesome to see new faces and hear about people’s involvement in the area of impairments. 

The first day of introductions provided a whole new line of thought as I reflected upon my own up-bringing from my parents with their own impairments. Now being a parent with four sons, two have been diagnosed on the autism spectrum, I appreciate my parent’s journey, and even more so with their limited English.

Myself, Felicia Manase from Wellington and Ngatamaine Tauranga from Flaxmere were the three members of the Faiva Ora Leadership Group in attendance at the fono. Sincere thanks to Pati Umaga from DPA and Le Va for supporting my presence at the Fono. I am looking forward to what the future holds.  

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Covid-19 Update

Face-to-face workshops will not continue while New Zealand is at Level 4. We will be in contact with all participants soon.