Corrections turning Bay of Plenty teen lives around

A new programme targeting Māori youth serving community sentences in the Eastern Bay of Plenty took place over two days at the end of March.

Te Korenga ki te Ao Marama Youth Resilience Programme saw 20 Māori men between the ages of 17 and 25 put through their paces for 12 hours by a group of providers passionate about helping young people turn their lives around.

The programme kicks off with an outdoor challenge intended to set the scene for the two days.  

Participants will explore a sense of self identity and develop communication and problem solving skills.

The programme features guest speakers who have dealt with tough situations in their own lives and built resilience as a result. There are topics that deal with the impact of social media and encouraging possible education, training, employment and reintegration opportunities.

Bay of Plenty Community Corrections District Manager Pauline Moran explains how the programme will work.

“The aim of the programme is to create an environment that will help offenders build resilience. It’s a holistic approach – first providing experiences to unbalance life and then teaching the skills that enable young people to re-balance.

The idea is that while participating in demanding interactive challenges, participants will build confidence and trust. They learn transferrable skills that can help them achieve employment, education or life goals.”

Pauline gives credit to her staff and Corrections’ partners for developing the concept.

“We have some really passionate people in this area who know that by helping our young people to identify and address issues they can create positive pathways for their future.”