Youth programme East Heart Unplugged launched

By Wepiha Te Kanawa

Today was the launch of East Heart Unplugged, a youth programme aimed at Māori and Pacific youth in the suburbs of East Auckland. The course uses music as a platform to engage the youth on issues like violence.

Some of Auckland's most talented youth showcases have come to Te Noho Kotahitanga Marae at UNITEC to harness their musical skills.

The students come from Glen Innes, Point England and Mt Wellington, all with different backgrounds and will be mentored over the week by singers like Majic Paora and Jerome Cowley.

Jerome Cowley says, “We all came from that same waka, we journeyed from Hawaiki, we journeyed from the Pacific, we all congregated at different points of history, so it’s taking that treasure from the past and pulling into the future.”

While the teenagers master their musical skills, they will also learn how use their voice to address issues like domestic violence.

Over the next three days they will write and record their own songs.