Guest Blog: MarionTini-Joseph Paoo
Igniting communities creating change, was the feel and flavour of our FLO Talanoa community workshop, in Kelston, West Auckland. I was privileged and excited to be co-leading the workshop alongside my other five Le Va trained FLO Talanoa facilitators; namely Matua Johnny Siaosi, Matua Taulanga Kupu, Raymond Pua, Rowena Singh and Patrolina Leaton.
This is the first of many FLO Talanoa community workshops we plan to deliver. We were blessed to share the suicide prevention workshop to an energetic and enthusiastic group of participants last month. Most of the participants worked and/or lived in West Auckland, however some had made impressive efforts, to fight morning traffic and make their way from South Auckland to attend the day; the group included parents, church ministers, youth workers, and case workers.
The atmosphere and spirit of our day was set from the get go with the harmonised and sweet beats from our live band “Shared Vision Community Outreach Team” – the band is led by Matua Johnny Siaosi, who is also a FLO Talanoa facilitator. Our team members also spoilt us all with a nourishing and delicious lunch.
Feedback from the workshop emphasised the participants shared similar views, identifying that the content (of the workshop) was new knowledge to them and that they were thankful for the opportunity to equip themselves with skills on how to talk safely about suicide, and where to find help if someone needed it. For instance one comment was, “I learned so much that I didn’t know. I feel confident that I can help and support someone who might need my help”.
“I would highly recommend this course to others”.
Through-out the day we were reminded of how critical relationships are and how important it is to stay connected. As a consequence we will start a database of attendees and share relevant information around future events and information relating to suicide prevention.
The group spoke about being grateful for the opportunity to network amongst themselves. Acknowledging that they had learnt about the services and supports available from others in their own community.
They also stated they felt motivated to share the information with others and are inspired to make a difference within their families and communities they live and work.
Our team plan to deliver our next workshop in South Auckland prior to Christmas, knowing that this time of the year can be challenging for some families.