Connecting Rangatahi with Pepeha

Connecting Rangatahi with Pepeha

This month's NCS Blog is brought to you from Ricky Winitana at Te Rangihaeata Oranga Trust, who shares how they were able to connect rangatahi to pepeha.

"Vicki and Ben from Awhi Trust randomly walked into to our service looking to connect. 

After a kōrero I agreed to run a pepeha workshop/program to support with their youth. These young men are what society would called ‘troubled’ and have had very little support in the past. 

Our first session started off with a presentation on pepeha looking at what pepeha is teaching them, the importance of pepeha and how having connections to the whenua can keep us grounded in our daily lives. The root word of pepeha is ‘peha’ which means ‘boast’ or ‘brag’, with this in mind we teach them to have pride in where they come from, to stand tall and proud like their maunga, to wash away and cleanse oneself of troubles in the waters of their awa, when faced with troubles to remember the long voyage our ancestors took on their waka carrying their hopes and dreams with them. 

Through this pepeha mahi the boys will learn about who they are and where they come from.  This creates a solid foundation for them to stand on in life, a real connection that they can be proud of, and this helps to get them off a destructive path and falling into addictions."