A local non-government organisation is running a programme to help connect Cook Islands youth with nature.
old Charlene Akaruru of Tereora College says she has never had any connection
to the sea before.
after joining the 'Atui'anga ki te Tango senior programme, she says she has
grown to be courageous, to understand more about the ocean and gained the
strength to explore the unknown.
whole programme was really amazing and exciting and it was different from other
programmes I have been to, because with the 'Atui'anga ki te Tango you become
more connected with nature and find out who you really are as a Cook Islander,”
she’s learned more traditional skills, has a better understanding of her Cook
Islands culture, and has bonded with other students who were part of the
20 youths are part of Kōrero o te `Ōrau’s, 'Atui'anga ki te Tango senior
programme this year.
te `Ōrau executive member Jackie Rongo says ‘Ātui’anga ki te Tango is about
connecting Cook Islands youth to their natural environment through scientific
and culture-based learning.
programme is for senior students above the age of 14 and includes several
activities such as mountain hiking, night snorkelling, fishing and also first
aid training as well as coral reef monitoring and links with Operation Taramea.
The 'Atui'anga ki te Tango senior students after their Wayfinding class with Master Navigator Peia Pata. Photo: LOSIRENE LACANIVALU. 21010817/21010818
says the focus is to upskill indigenous Maori children.
programme takes place over two weeks whereby the first week is for SCUBA
certification and the second week is focused on Ridge to Reef learnings.
programme’s objective is expose students to scientific and traditional
knowledge and complementary activities to enhance their understanding of the
natural environment and associated traditional practices.
include eight new students who have recently completed their Open Water SCUBA
certification, eight current 'Atui'anga ki te Tango students who have already
completed SCUBA certification (some Open Water, some Advanced, and four
students currently undergoing Rescue Diver certification) and three new
students expressed interest in the programme, and may progress to SCUBA
certification in our next intake for Open Water certification,” Rongo said.
their students – Te Mata Patai, Athina Karika, Charlene Akaruru and Meilani
Karika – are undergoing Rescue Diver certification.
students have gone through CPR and First Aid training through Cook Islands Red
Cross/Emergency First Responder and Dive Rarotonga.
The programme is supported by partners Nia Tero and Dive Rarotonga and recently Synchronicity Earth who has joined to help support the programme.