UNESCO Aotearoa Youth Leader Liletina Vaka took an active part in New Zealand’s National Youth Week recently, working with rangatahi (young people) across West Auckland to capture their stories.
Inspired by this year’s theme was ‘We are more than you see’, ‘He wai hōhonu a mātou’ (literally, we are deep waters, thus referring to unseen depths), the kaitohutohu (counsellors) at Youth Service West, including Liletina, asked rangatahi across West Auckland to share their stories. Over 100 youth stories/voices were captured to create an art piece that celebrates the different stories of New Zealand’s young people.
“It’s a real privilege to work alongside so many rangatahi,” says Liletina. “Their endless enthusiasm, contagious laughter, and unique voice and perspectives on life is continually challenging me. My own life experiences, my professional background and the rangatahi I work with all guide the way I operate as a Youth Advisor for the New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO. He wai hōhonu a mātou, Mauri ora!”
During National Youth Week, events are held across New Zealand to celebrate the achievements and contributions of New Zealand’s young people.