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Weaving together for a better future: Standing together against Violence

Le Va and Synergia were honoured to host Dr Peter Hovmand, a world leader in applying core ideas, methods and tools of Systems Dynamics to issues of structural violence. At the Manukau Institute of Technology’s Pacific Community Centre, in the heart of Otara, attendees from the areas of education, violence prevention, mental health, corrections, social development and research joined together to explore how group modelling techniques can be utilised to conceptualise the factors and processes involved in supportive families and inclusive learning environments.

Dr Hovmand led the first half of the workshop and provided an overview of participatory modelling methods and their application to community engagement. Drawing on examples of the extensive work he has done in communities and organisations around the world, Dr Hovmand demonstrated how communities are empowered when they lead the conceptualisation of their own challenges and are supported to develop their own solutions.

This was followed with a presentation by Dr Monique Faleafa (Le Va CEO) and Dr Elizabeth Mati (Senior Manager, Atu-Mai), who provided an overview of Atu-Mai’s socio-ecological and systems approach to preventing violence for Pasifika young people in NZ.

A key take-home message was the inherent ethos of Va and its applicability within Systems thinking. People, ideas and conventions are connected and interrelated which aligns with this year’s theme for Samoa Language Week ‘Lalaga le siosiomaga mo se lumana’i manuia’ (weave an environment for a better future). We are all weavers and we all play a role in the weaving of a better future. It may appear easier to keep to your own strand, however, when our different strands connect and are woven together, we are able to create a stronger environment for our Pasifika young people.

The workshop provided a safe space to continue the talanoa of how collaboraction, across the system, is essential in addressing the complex dynamic of violence. Le Va would like to thank all the wonderful attendees for your invaluable contribution. We look forward to our ongoing relationships and joint commitment to system change.

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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.