Born to Make an Impact Leadership Development

The Born to make an Impact Leadership program was able to run through a partnership with ICM and we met every Wednesday during term 2. It was tailormade for some handpicked young men aged 15-19 from south Auckland that are in care or have been through the system. We ran for 10 weeks and look to continue this term. Tamaki Kaiwhakamana Shane and Caleb developed a calendar that had a theme each week that was the main discussion point for our session.

The one thing that remained consistent with our small group was that there was food every night. With each session we had the opportunity to build relationship with the young men and work on how to embrace their potential. Through the vehicle of sport, arts and music we connected with each individual on a personal level. We are on the process of writing and recording an original song about their care experience.

We aim to provide opportunities today for tomorrows generation and through “Born to Make an Impact” we have the privilege of doing that. The first 5 weeks was seeing what their strengths were and the last 5 was building on them to become beneficial for their everyday life. The pou of VOYCE – Whakarongo Mai is what underpinned our mahi and made each night what it was. Through our pou the young men developed a love for themselves and realised what it was to be a true leader, at home, at school and with themselves.

Over the 10 weeks there are many stories of success we can share, the one we want to highlight is seeing our young men tap into their creativeness and write in their own words what it was like to be in care. At our recording session we had some local kiwi artist support them in what it is to tell a story through rap. One of our rangatahi was able to not only rap about his journey but do it in his mother tongue which was amazing for someone that doesn’t say much. The success was providing a safe place for our young men to express themselves.

It was incredible to have the opportunity to see the process of “boys to men” and we can’t wait to continue that journey with the young men over the next few months as we continue our work together.

Here are some things that the rangatahi had to say about these sessions:

 “I didn’t realise I could do that, and now that I know I’m going to gun to be the best at it”

“This group has opened my eyes to what I can really do in life”

“The one thing I’ll remember is being treated like I’m not a cyfs kid”