I arrived on Monday (March 20) and it's pretty much been go since arrival. A massive thank you to the Horowhenua District Council for hosting me and looking after me so well.
This week has been huge and varied, with a full five days of workshops, training and presentations.
Things kicked off with a series of capacity building workshops for local services and youth workers. We focused on the youth work tool kit: practical skills, activities and resources to use on a daily basis. We also spent some quality time on theory, looking at the Youth Development Strategy Aotearoa.
It was a joy to connect with Te Takare Youth Space and support them in their exploration of vision, values and ways of working with one another.
I ran a similar workshop with the Horowhenua District Youth Council who are very much in the forming stages as a group, which is always an exciting time to observe as a facilitator.
The last two days of the trip I have been presenting alongside Richie Hardcore at a number of schools in the area as part of the Hardcore Horowhenua initiative. Presenting to full assemblies has been a great mix of healthy nerves and excitement, and the students have been real cool.
Hardcore Horowhenua is an initiative of the Rethink Teen Drinking and Social Supply Committee for the Horowhenua region. Our presentations explored positive choices around alcohol, identifying your passion and following it, and not being afraid to be different (in fact, being proud of it!) through personal stories and experiences.
Of course, it would not be a week in the life of anyone at Action Ed without some poetry. I ran an open spoken word workshop at Te Takare Youth Space, and had an awesome mix of people come through.
I have been blown away by the young people I have connected with and also the passion that I have witnessed from teachers, principals and community/youth workers for uplifting their young people and providing platforms, conversations and spaces for them to thrive. It is a real honour to be welcomed into communities to meaningfully engage in korero which put young people at the centre. It has been dope!!!