Youth Action Komiti – leaving no one behind

We don’t want anyone getting lost.

This phrase was coined by Flora Apulu, a member of the Youth Action Komiti.  The komiti was set up by Le Va to co-create, co-design and co-deliver our 3rd Growing Pasifika Solutions conference in April 2016. 

As some might guess, the focus of this upcoming conference is on young Pasifika – and is aimed at organisations and social services whose work involves the care, support and development of our young Pasifika people.  

Our approach for this conference has needed to change to reflect this focus – it is clear that Pasifika youth should and do need to lead this front and centre to better learn and understand what services need to deliver to ensure they flourish and unleash their full potential. 

In support of youth participation, we were delighted to kick off this process with our first Youth Action Komiti fono, held on the 28 November.  Along with the support of Terence Slade from the Ministry of Youth Development, began the journey of co-design with a group of 13 skilled and clever Pasifika young people, aged between 17 and 28 years, from different Pasifika ethnic backgrounds and from across the country.  

It is evident straight away that our young Pasifika are determined to ensure they are seen as resources and solutions to be developed. Some challenged our own assumptions and models for success – showing that our youth have a voice; about their issues and, more importantly, about who they are in Pasifika communities. 

Thus far the group has identified some key issues, which also contribute to the overall health and wellbeing of Pasifika young people, including the importance of having a sense of belonging and acceptance, furthermore, having access to Pasifika ancestral and cultural knowledge. 

Our komiti team and Le Va staff are meeting this week to form key messages, identify key speakers and confirm the format for conference. We look forward to keeping you updated on our progress together.

You can keep up to date with news about the conference by visiting the 2016 GPS 3.0 conference page on our website and following our Facebook page.

Current members of LeVa’s, Youth Action Komiti are Riki Welsh, Flora Apulu, Jaycee Tanuvasa, Peter Williams, Felicia Manase, Eden Vawdrey, Trish Tupou, Wesley Mauafu, Manatu Fia, Whitney Esi Pa’u-Tuitasi, Sulani Liua-Helg, Toni Tangiia Walsh, Zach Soakai, Christina Taefu and Alana Kitai. Check us out on Le Va's Facebook page.

 

About the author
Yvonne is a Senior Project Co-ordinator for Le Va, primarily working on the FLO: Pasifika for life suicide prevention programme. She’s also a registered nurse with over 20 years’ experience specialising in various areas such as sexual/reproductive health, adolescent health and nurse-led clinics.

More about Yvonne Kainuku