Young peo­ple give in­sights into how to re­duce al­co­hol use among teens

South Waikato News - - NEWS -

Young peo­ple are call­ing for more en­gage­ment across the dis­trict, a com­mu­nity youth fono (meet­ing) has re­vealed.

The RTD ( ready to dis­cuss) Fono held last week at the Samoan Hall in Toko­roa, was for youth of all eth­nic­i­ties and was or­gan­ised by the South Waikato Pa­cific Is­land Trust with ma­jor spon­sors Al­co­hol Ad­vi­sory Coun­cil and Carenz.

The fono’s aim was to in­volve youth in ways to re­duce teen al­co­hol use.

The young panel was asked to gen­er­ate ideas for non-al­co­holic ac­tiv­i­ties. Ideas ranged from an out­door movie night to cre­ation of a South Waikato weekly youth pro­gramme on Youtube. All agreed that the three schools col­lab­o­rate weekly.

The fono is aligned with the youth strat­egy for the dis­trict.

Com­ments from the group in­cluded hav­ing sport and cul­tural ex­changes be­tween For­est View and Toko­roa high schools and Pu­taruru Col­lege.

A staunch ad­vo­cate for em­pow­er­ing youth, South Waikato Pa­cific Is­lands Com­mu­nity man­ager Akarere Henry said the fono’s aim was achieved.

‘‘The pri­mary goal was to get our youth’s thoughts on al­co­hol and they told us ex­actly what they thought and came up with con­cepts on how to man­age its use by our young peo­ple,’’ Mrs Henry said. The chal­lenge now was to de­velop the strate­gies sug­gested, she said.

It was won­der­ful to see youth want­ing more in­ter­ac­tion across the dis­trict. ‘‘It was won­der­ful to see the youth in­ter­act; they want more of this col­lab­o­ra­tion so we must lis­ten,’’ Mrs Henry said.

From the dis­cus­sion panel, se­lected young peo­ple will form an ad­vi­sory com­mit­tee.

Photo: FLORENCE KERR/ SOUTH WAIKATO NEWS

UNITED: Stu­dents from Pu­taruru Col­lege, Toko­roa High School and For­est View High School came to­gether to de­velop ways to re­duce teenage al­co­hol use.

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