Young Pasi­fika

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KARO­LINE TUCKEY

Health ser­vices avail­able to Pa­cific Is­land youth were in the spot­light along­side some big name per­form­ers at Te Rau­paraha Arena last week.

Hun­dreds of young peo­ple at­tended the in­au­gu­ral Strong Pa­cific Youth expo, themed ‘‘Ac­cess To­day for a Bet­ter To­mor­row’’, to learn about health ser­vices avail­able to them in the com­mu­nity, and to catch a glimpse of celebri­ties.

R’n’B star Scribe was sign­ing au­to­graphs and pos­ing with fans for pho­to­graphs, and singer Aradhna took the stage along­side per­for­mances by Porirua’s own Toneyo, Greer Sa­muel and R’n’B group Jus­tuce, while Praiz Stu­dios dance troupe kept the stage jump­ing.

Par­tic­i­pants from a range of sec­ondary schools in the area vis­ited stalls manned by health care providers to tick off boxes on an en­try form for prize draws.

The event was or­gan­ised be­cause health providers in the area have re­ported poor buy-in from Pa­cific Is­land youth, Com­pass Pri­mary Health Care Net­work event co­or­di­na­tor Paul Mar­shall said.

‘‘What we are try­ing to do is con­nect our youth ser­vices, es­pe­cially health and ed­u­ca­tion specif­i­cally, with our Pa­cific kids to im­prove their ac­cess and aware­ness to these ser­vices.

‘‘We want the kids to be com­fort­able to ac­cess the ser­vices and to see an in­crease in up­take for the kids – they didn’t know that some of these ser­vices were avail­able to them.’’

Mr Mar­shall said the event went well with sev­eral hun­dred young peo­ple at­tend­ing, and or­gan­is­ers hoped to see that re­flected in young peo­ple us­ing their ser­vices.

Healthy eat­ing: Welling­ton High School stu­dents Jal­isa Aiono, 17 (left), and Henry Tukaka, 14, play with a fat ma­chine and fake food serv­ings at the Strong Pa­cific Youth expo last Wed­nes­day at Te Rau­paraha Arena.

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