Kia ora tatou, He uri tenei nō Te Rarawa me Kuki Airani, Ko Christina Leef ahau.
In November 2015 I received a call from Gina about a partnership between Youthline, Sovereign and Lifehack. Youthline Manukau needed to increase the amount of volunteers in their branch and Sovereign Insurance was supporting them to look at ways that this could be achieved. Lifehack came in to support both organisations by facilitating and igniting discussion and idea generation. This saw the creation of a two day event which aimed to bring together selected members of the South Auckland community to explore ideas around increasing the amount of volunteers at Youthline Manukau.
The next step was to meet with Sovereign and Youthline team members. Lifehack team jump on Te waka ō Air New Zealand en route to Auckland. I remember sitting at the airport in early December with Gina talking about this hui with Sovereign and Youthline and being asked questions about whether my peers and I used Youthline when we were younger. This unearthed a whole lot of feelings and unleashed a tsunami of questions and answers.
I thought about my perceptions of Youthline. I thought they just answered phones and helped rangatahi (youth) when they had problems. Yes, this is a support service they offer but they are so much more. They present at schools, organise events in their communities and of course have the phone line.This was a huge unveiling of what encompases Youthline and how important it is for rangatahi in Aotearoa New Zealand.
In retrospect, I wish that my younger self and my peers knew that. I wonder how many rangatahi know about it, this fuels my energy to support this kaupapa to project on the sky the vision for our team to support the wellbeing of youth in Aotearoa.