Te Rūnanga o Kirikiriroa Hapai (Uplift) Project
Te Rūnanga o Kirikiriroa ran a ten-week, youth residential service Rongo Ātea. The service provided taiohi struggling with substance misuse with the experiences necessary for them understand living without alcohol and other drugs. Group sessions, one-on-one and classroom work all form part of the programme and occur daily. The content of the programme covered tikanga, life skills, problem solving, accountability and responsibility, alcohol and drug information, secondary school education, and experiential learning.
The service engaged taiohi, their whānau, hapū and iwi to raise awareness about negative effects of substance use (including suicide and self harm behaviours, mental health and legal consequences) and promotes residential AOD treatment as a fundamental right.
Te Rūnanga o Kirikiriroa wished to pursue the theme of hapai (Uplift), as a celebration of life, talent and diversity - all as a mechanism to promote healthy choices. The aim was to increase creative expression with music and musical performance to support at risk youth. Underpinning the kaupapa is the belief that they can move from mauri noho to mauri oho, by finding their own voices, exploring their abilities and sharing themselves, their thoughts and feelings with others.
Securing musical equipment, recording, guest facilitators, artists and tutors is a critical aspect for growing the service and is part of the overall project that Waka Hourua is supporting.
Te Kīwai Rangahau - the Research and evaluation arm of Te Rau Matatini - had the opportunity to visit the group who are halfway through their initiatives. From November 2014 to the end of February 2015 thus far they have completed 26 music workshops working with these rangatahi having introduced the group to indigenous Aotearoa music with life values, tutoring on various instruments to perform in a band like format. The 12 spoken word workshops has allowed rangatahi to create their own rap, lyrics, stories and/or poetry in their own words, to build confidence and display their performance in front of whanau in venues, such as marae community centres, the museum, performance café and schools.
The music and spoken word programmes were rated by taiohi as the programmes the rangatahi most enjoyed and consistently got a lot out of it. The impact of the self- recorded music and spoken word has had a significant positive impact on whanau and rangatahi.
The resources of the CD have become a permanent record of achievement.
Another result has been to nurture a growth in healthy wairua and walking in a journey of recovery into life not into death.
The mau taiaha taught to rangatahi bought experience of being linked to their culture and giving them a place to stand that was larger and more life giving than their individual experience.