Girls in the Mangaia Youth Development course select their active wear for the programme. 21050303.
Youth on Mangaia took up all 40 places in a course designed to provide them with skills to help them excel in a work environment and in a modern society, by building on their confidence, self-esteem and motivation.
The Mangaia Youth Development course
started last week and runs for seven days.
The course is facilitated by members of the
Cook Islands Police Service led by platoon commander Aporo Kirikava, the
Corrective Services, and with assistance from Mangaia police officers Senior
Constable Aerenga Matapo and Honorary Constable Tearoa Maine.
The programme teaches and encourages
discipline, leadership and team work, and also includes community projects such
as clean up tasks.
Although there were more young people on
Mangaia who were keen to take part, no further applicants were accepted as the
maximum number of 40 registrations had been met.
Senior Sergeant Maeva Kirikava said:
“Initially, the course was designed for ‘at risk’ children and youth, targeting
the ages of 13 to 18-year olds.” For Mangaia, the participants are between 11
to 19 years old.
He said the course “delivers quality
life-skills and leadership training; building up self-respect, respect for
others, working within boundaries, self-care, team work and problem solving,
etiquette and manners, public speaking and presentations”.
There is a buddy system where young people
who are intended to be role models are paired with “at risk kids”.
On Mangaia, the Island Administration has
taken the initiative to offer their youth an opportunity to earn an income
through the solar project on the island.
Kirikava said: “We take our hats off to
them, and we currently have youth on the course that are part of this scheme.”
He also noted that many of the activities
in the community involve church and youth groups and young people who do not
participate in either of these activities “tend to fall to the side and are
highly likely to be at risk”.
“The challenge comes after graduation,” he said.
“As adults, we are quick to blame our youth
for misbehaviour,” Kirikava said. “But one of the Pa Metua summed it up when
she said: ‘If the police could run a course for the adults too, as they require
just as much lessons in discipline’.”
“Wise words from a wise person.”
The Mangaia Youth Development course participants. 21050304.
These courses have been conducted on the
islands of Rarotonga, Aitutaki, Atiu, catered also for Mitiaro and Mauke.
Some of the main concerns in the Pa Enua were “behavioural issues that starts from the lack of structure and boundaries in the home; this was quickly established and accordingly attended to early on in the course,” Kirikava said.
Parents need to ensure that they have set
boundaries and structures within their home, he said.
“There is a place for everything; work,
discipline, and this includes fun which is a principle included in the course.
The Bible provides some guidance in Matthew 5:37; simply put, let your yes be
yes and your no be no. We as parents tend to say no but do nothing to enforce
The Youth Development team extended their
appreciation to the people of Mangaia, the private sector, the Island
Administration, Mangaia school, and the wider community for providing
transport, accommodation and venues.
The course is based on the New Zealand Blue
Light programme in partnership with the New Zealand Police and New Zealand
The course was initially run on Rarotonga
by the NZ Defence Force.
Kirikava said it is encouraging that two
participants in the Mangaia Youth Development course have indicated an interest
in a career with the Police Service.