Young people give insights into how to reduce alcohol use among teens
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.
UNITED: Students from Putaruru College, Tokoroa High School and Forest View High School came together to develop ways to reduce teenage alcohol use.