When Josh talks of Visionwest and the Pae Aronui rangatahi training course, the first thing he mentions is manaakitanga and how that love and acceptance transformed his life.
Josh had been with Visionwest’s youth training courses on and off for a while and had been in and out of work during that time. He openly admits that he just wasn’t in the right mental space to hold down a job long term and his life was a little aimless.
It was when Visionwest contacted him about a programme with a Kaupapa Māori foundation that would prepare him for work and help him grow as a person, that things began to change. That programme was Pae Aronui.
The manaakitanga [love, compassion and acceptance] shown on this course changed my entire attitude. These days, it often seems like Māori culture isn’t fully recognised. That can be discouraging because Māori tend to see some aspects of life differently to other cultures. I know that can result in Māori not always having the best societal outcomes, but Pae Aronui has shown me who I want to become as a person and as a young Māori man.
Educational rangatahi training and preparation for work is an integral part of the Pae Aronui course but alongside that is a physical element with course participants going to the gym regularly, something Josh credits as helping him develop a mental strength and tenacity.
I’ve always had a dream to become a personal trainer but didn’t think I’d ever achieve it because I just wasn’t good enough at anything. This course has given a boost to my self-confidence and got me thinking that that dream is within my grasp.
There are many young Māori around today,” says Josh, “who want to step up and be something special in society. I want to be an example of that and feel like I finally have what I need to achieve that.
Rangatahi Training and Employment Outcomes
Pae Aronui is a rangatahi Māori (Māori youth) engagement programme aimed at improving education, training, and employment outcomes for rangatahi Māori aged 15 to 24 years who are not in education, employment, or training. With the help of our experienced Kaiārahi Rangatahi team, rangatahi are creating a future that is bright, fulfilling, exciting and based around them being Māori.
Pae Aronui is a part of Huia Mai, a department of Visionwest which provides Māori-based whānau services designed to meet the needs of whānau Māori and all other whānau who seek our support.
You can click here to find out more.
* Meeting the needs of people who come to Visionwest for help with compassion, dignity, and manaakitanga is our top priority. We understand it is a great privilege when someone shares the story of their personal journey with us, so always seek their permission before sharing their story with others.