March 2017: The one who partakes of the flora and fauna, that will be their domain.
But for the one who engages in education, opportunities are boundless.
Juggling full time work and study can be a challenge, but a group of Te Arawa Whānau Ora paeārahi are already finding success and benefits in the workplace through the Diploma of Whānau Ora.
It’s been six months since the nine paeārahi enrolled on the two year, no-cost diploma which is offered to them at their worksites. It also includes distance learning, tutoring and noho marae block courses throughout the year. The Diploma students represent providers based in Mangakino, Murupara, Minginui and Rotorua.
Collective Impact Manager, Jenny Kaka-Scott said Te Arawa Whānau Ora were grateful to Te Whānau o Waipareira and WaiTech for developing a qualification so directly aligned to the paeārahi role.
“The applied nature of the Diploma means we can expect the study to have direct and positive impacts on the paeārahi service to whānau and the community,” she said.
Assignments and case studies also incorporate work-related scenarios.”
While the course relies on self-directed learning the Te Arawa paeārahi meet fortnightly for group study sessions facilitated by one of our own, Donna Grant, a WaiTech programme leader.
“Our TAWO students are the fortunate beneficiaries of Donna’s extensive educational expertise and passion for teaching. Donna motivates, educates and inspires our paeārahi to bring their own cultural knowledge, professional knowledge and life experience to the assignments,” Jenny says.
Social media has also helped as an important learning tool.
“They all have a Facebook page and share work related situations they deal with. I think nationally there’s about 60 paeārahi undertaking the Diploma so our students have access to shared learning from an even larger collective,” Jenny says.
“You are able to expand your professional knowledge about the kinds of issues the whānau are going through, and the kinds of challenges out there in the community really quickly. You’re exposed to a lot of information.”
While the journey still continues for these paeārahi, they know they are on the right path for their own professional development and for the community.
“TAWO have every confidence in the programme, in its delivery and in the ability of our paeārahi to successfully complete all requirements with the continued support from WaiTech leaders, provider organisations and each other. We are all proud of their commitment. Kia kaha tonu tātou!” Jenny says.