FLO Talanoa November 2015 meeting

Last month, 20 local church leaders, Pasifika NGO workers and central government staff attended our first Auckland-based FLO Talanoa workshop

Delivered by Denise Kingi-Uluave and Leilani Clarke from the FLO team within Le Va, FLO Talanoa is the only Pasifika suicide prevention education programme led by communities for communities. It represents a call to action, and has been carefully designed based on the latest research and information, and to align with Pasifika values of love, respect and reciprocity.

A range of participants attended from organisations such as Handle the Jandal, The Fono, Pathways, Madd Messenger, The Department of Corrections and local church leaders. Feedback from participants has been overwhelmingly positive.

Here are some responses from participants themselves.

The two-day workshop is worth it. It has given me confidence to talk about suicide and talk to people about hope. There is hope.

Thank you for bringing this gift. I would like to encourage more people to attend at your next one. Love having our NZ Maori whanau with us. Gave good insight into each culture.

More workshops will be much appreciated. Need more free facilitator training.

Enjoyed this workshop, has definitely opened my eyes to a lot of things! Bless your team.

Articulate and professional facilitators who were attuned to us as the audience and their own responsibility to share FLO Talanoa. Really enjoyed the workshop content, delivery and engagement with others present and Le Va staff.

Delivery validated Pacific cultural aspects that are often overlooked in mainstream workshops. Still amazed that the tool of FLO Talanoa is a gift (based on sound research and clinical evidence) that can travel the 'Va' or spaces over one's lifespan and time meaning it can be shared at home, church, family, community and work.

One of the participants, University of Auckland student and aspiring young poet Zech Soakai attended the workshop and found the experience life changing. As a parting gift to the group Zech presented the following poem.

YOU, THE CHOICE OF MY EXISTENCE

I choose life I choose falling and getting back up again
I choose getting help when I need it
I choose opening up to those I trust
I choose patching things up before I sleep
I choose life
I choose honesty
I choose forgiveness
I choose to share in safe spaces
I choose to pray
I choose listening to my hurt
I choose going to those that can help heal my hurt
I choose life

I choose us
I choose us in disagreement
I choose us in unity
I choose us to talk about the tough stuff
I choose us to laugh at the tough stuff
I choose us to find solutions together
I choose us to be honest
I choose us to stay sane
I choose us to laugh at
I choose us to laugh with
I choose us to be B.R.A.V.E
I choose you
I choose you to open my ears up to
I choose you to share the load with
I choose you to have midnight MacDonald runs with
I choose you to annoy
I choose you to protect
I choose you to steal food from
I choose you to make cry
I choose you to lean on
I choose you to share my shoulders with
I choose you to ask
How are you?
Actually?
I choose you
I choose us
I choose life
I choose,
You,
the choice of my existence.

Interest to attend FLO Talanoa workshops continues to spread quickly throughout our communities, with numerous requests about future workshop dates, available spaces and where to find more information.

Our next workshop is planned for Wellington in February 2016. For more information about our FLO Talanoa Facilitator training please check the FLO Knowledge Bank or email enquiries@leva.co.nz.

Scenes from the Auckland FLO Talanoa workshop.

About the author
As Senior Project Co-ordinator for Le Va, Leilani currently leads the FLO Talanoa suicide prevention education programme. Leilani also has more than a decade’s experience working within the New Zealand public sector.

More about Leilani Fina'i Clarke