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Children's Commissioner hears Pacific youth struggles

01 November 2017

Posted in: Pacific Radio News,

By Ruci Farrell -

The nation's Children's Commissioner has heard the struggles of young South Aucklanders as part of a programme called MyStory.

Judge Andrew Becroft, who spent the day in Otara yesterday, says the stories offer valuable perspectives for the future of Pacific communities.

Children's Commissioner Judge Andrew Becroft with South Auckland students. Photo/ Supplied.

The MyStory framework is devised by Southseas Healthcare Trust to instill courage among Pacific youth to talanoa in a safe and confidential space.

Judge Becroft says this platform for story-sharing will allow New Zealanders to understand Pacific perspectives. 

"In 20 years time, one in five children will be Pasifika," he says. "It's a terrific experience to be able to hear their story and for me to have ears to absorb their messages and what they see as key issues."

South Auckland students at the MyStory event in Otara. Photo/ PRN. 

One of the students who shared her story was 15-year-old Fatalina Fatu.

She says the initiative has helped her to overcome the trauma of losing a close family member.

"It helped me understand my own problem in depth and helped me to realise that I'm not the only one going through it."

Southseas Healthcare Clinical Director Dr. Andrew Chan Mow was moved by the resilience of Pacific youth overcoming their challenges, their way.

He says the stories that have emerged provide valuable insights into how youth handle their social concerns.

"What we're hearing now is the resilience of youth; how they encounter, how they anticipate and how they overcome these challenges," says Dr. Chan Mow. "These are the things that no one can tell us except them."

Dr. Andrew Chan Mow. Photo/ PRN. 

The MyStory youth programme started in May this year and is attracting national attention.

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