Pasifika Futures provided sponsorship for youth traveling from outside of Christchurch to attend the Pacific Youth Parliament “Our Movement” conference from 20-24 April hosted by the Pacific Youth Leadership And Transformation (PYLAT) Council at St Bede’s College in Christchurch.
Pacific Youth Parliament is a valuable programme in honouring and embracing the voice of Pacific youth to develop their leadership ability to understand how democracy works, and ensuring Pacific families and community get the support they need from Government and Parliament.
Over these dates, the event saw over 100 Pacific young people from different regions taking part in a Parliament simulation not only to strengthen their understanding of political processes but their identity as a Pacific youth. The conference encouraged many to think and speak on issues they feel are important and to also gain an understanding and experience of the democratic process.
The result? The Pacific Youth Parliament Our Movement Act 2017 was moved, a bill collectively formed and voted on by participants. The Act addresses several issues Pacific people are facing and includes recommendations and initiatives to work towards tackling these issues head on. One of the many issues Pacific Youth Parliament raised was the mental wellbeing of our youth and proposed that schools in New Zealand should include compulsory mental health education, including techniques on working through mental health issues. You can view the document here. This was presented and acknowledged at a Leader’s Dinner event which hosted Pacific MP’s, community leaders as well as family and friends.
Here’s a glimpse at some of the youth sponsored by Pasifika Futures.