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Passion for people - Ministry of Social Development

By Dolores Arnold,2014-07-16 08:36
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Passion for people - Ministry of Social Development

Contents

    A life worth leading ............................................................................................. 3 The will for change ............................................................................................. 6 Dream the impossible ......................................................................................... 8 Manurewa parenting hub.................................................................................. 12 Opportunities, not obstacles............................................................................. 16 Getting dad on board ....................................................................................... 18 Poster dads ...................................................................................................... 21 Joining forces ................................................................................................... 24 Never, ever shake a baby ................................................................................ 26 Northern ........................................................................................................... 28 Southern ........................................................................................................... 34 Regional round-up............................................................................................ 39 Tips and links ................................................................................................... 43 Rise Issue 18 March 2012 1

    Welcome to the March 2012 issue of Rise.

    Connection is about strong relationships and working

    together. Whether we are talking about people or

    organisations, it’s about sharing support and strength;

    spreading ideas and knowledge. Strong collaborative

    connections can be the difference between success or

    not.

    This issue of Rise tells the story of opera singer Phillip

    Rhodes. As a boy, the support of loving foster parents

    helped Phillip move beyond a childhood of abuse and

    connect with his incredible potential as a singer.

    Also in this issue, the Prime Minister‟s Youth Programme recognises kids who are making

    something of their lives even though the odds are against them. It connects them with support and opportunities to reach their potential. Eighteen-year-old Sione Feao talks about the importance of that connection as he grows into a youth leader and trains to make it into the Warriors under-20 side.

    Connection is what communities are about. The Manurewa Parenting Hub connects isolated and struggling parents with their children‟s schools and learning, with each other and with

    opportunities to grow as parents and individuals. In this issue, parents describe how they have gained a new sense of community, purpose and belonging. Not to mention jobs and happier homes.

    It‟s great to welcome Murray Edridge as the new head of Family and Community Services

    the arm of the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) which supports community social service organisations and programmes. As the former chief executive of Barnardos New Zealand, Murray has dedicated his working life to better lives for children and families. His passion and insight into the challenges of the not-for-profit sector will be a great asset to MSD and the wider social sector as we join forces towards the same goals. Naku te rourou, nau te rourou, ka ora ai te iwi

    With your basket and my basket the people will live

    When we join together our resources, people will prosper.

    Brendan Boyle

    Chief Executive, Ministry of Social Development

    Rise Issue 18 March 2012 2

A life worth leading

    Sione Feao is very tall, but he says that he will never

    look down on someone unless it is to help them up.

    If he had not had the chance to learn that he was more

    than just a guy who followed the pack, 18-year-old

    Sione isn‟t sure where he‟d be right now.

    But he knows where he wouldn‟t be.

    He probably wouldn‟t have been in the Otahuhu College

    team that won last year‟s national secondary schools

    rugby league championship, breaking St Pauls‟ seven-

    year hold on the trophy.

    He probably wouldn‟t have been named to play in the

    championship tournament team against Australia in

    October 2011.

    And he would probably not have spent this summer in pre-season training for the Warriors under-20 side.

    People say the tall, rangy second-rower has what it takes to go a long way in rugby league. Sione‟s goal is to prove them right.

    Sione also would not have been one of the first young people to be invited for a second time on the annual Prime Minister‟s Youth Programme – this time not as a participant, but

    as a leader.

    The Prime Ministers Youth Programme

    The Prime Minister‟s Youth Programme is run each year for 100 exceptional young

    Aucklanders. They are nominated by schools, youth workers, police or social workers for their determination to make positive changes and good choices, even though they‟ve had challenges to overcome.

    In January, four youth-focused organisations run a week of fantastic activities for the young people, from training with the Warriors to white water rafting and lugeing. Youth workers then stay in touch with the young people, mentoring them for months after the initial week ends.

    Top sportspeople, musicians, dancers, actors and other artists also share their time, creating a chance for the young people to meet their heroes and role models. One of the organisations involved in the Prime Minister‟s Youth Programme is the Village

    Community Trust, founded by All Black legend Michael Jones and managed by his wife, Maliena.

    Maliena says amazing bonds form between the young people and the youth workers during Rise Issue 18 March 2012 3

the week of activities.

    “The youth workers get alongside them, get to know them and understand where they are

    from. That‟s the strength of the program, the amazing staff from all the providers who are passionate about working with these young people.”

    After the first week, ongoing mentoring is crucial, she says.

    “The kids made some really positive changes on their own, and the point is to acknowledge that achievement and then encourage them to keep on that vein.

    “They come from good families, most of them. Some have had real hardships. A lot are extremely shy and not the type to seek more for themselves. And many of them are natural leaders who just don‟t realise how much they can be.”

    From follower to leader

    It was police youth aid officer Mark Faga who nominated Sione for the 2011 Prime Minister‟s Youth Programme. Mark first came across Sione hanging out on the street with a pack of other teenagers. He told them about Bluelight mentoring sessions, offering boxing training at the local BoxFit gym.

    “It was free,” says Sione. “Once he said „free‟, I was like, oh yeah!”

    Sione and his mates started coming along to the sessions two nights a week. The others dropped out after a while, but Sione carried on, making new friends and enjoying the discipline of boxing and the values of hard work and healthy living that went along with it. “That police officer, Mark, he helped me a lot, talking about his life and how he became a cop. He taught me a lot.”

    Sione says up until that point he‟d always been a follower.

    The eldest in a large Pacific Island family, he spent a lot of time “looking after the kids” or

    hanging out with a pack of guys, doing just what they did.

    Playing computer games passed the time. It wasn‟t until he was fourteen and becoming

    very tall that he decided to try rugby league, a sport his father had been passionate about. “It was way too late to start. Everyone had already developed and learned everything and I was the worst. I couldn‟t even catch a ball. That year we lost every game. There was one game we were going to win and then I dropped the ball and the other team scored. I just kept hearing people saying „Oh this guy is useless.‟

    “Mum, she saw it all, but she just kept saying „next week son, next week‟.”

    Sione didn‟t quit.

    “The one thing that mattered to me the most was just everyone looking down at me. Now I

    say to myself I shall only look down at someone if I am helping them up.”

    Rise Issue 18 March 2012 4

    That quality may well be one reason Sione was chosen not only for the 2011 Prime Minister‟s Youth Programme, but to return as a leader in this year‟s programme.

    “I want to be that guy that helps the young guys be the leaders. Danny (the Village Trust‟s youth mentor manager) works that way. He puts us forward and gives us the opportunity to step up.”

    Over the past year, that kind of mentoring has seen Sione gain confidence in his leadership. He‟s learned about setting goals, working hard for them and not giving up.

    Sione is just one of many young hopefuls for the Warriors, and he knows how hard he has to work both physically and mentally to make it.

    “There‟s that 1 per cent chance of success, so even if it‟s 99 per cent fail I just got to try for the 1 per cent. And then try again. Cos if you fail, you get stronger.”

    His advice to other young guys wondering where to go in their lives is to hang out with the kind of people you want to become. “Cos it is twice as hard to stand up to your mates as your enemies. Be your true self and friends will come to you.”

    By the time this magazine goes to print, Sione will have found out whether he has made it on to the Warriors squad. If that doesn‟t work out this time, he has learned not to give up. He also intends to stay involved with the Village Trust.

    “I‟d like to be involved with youth who are in trouble,” he says. “Cos everyone deserves a chance.”

    Rise Issue 18 March 2012 5

The will for change