Young people connect on the white water
Twenty-two care experienced young people rafted the rapids at a recent special event put on by VOYCE – Whakarongo Mai at Vector Wero Whitewater Park in Manukau.
A positive experience to remember
Young people rode the park’s River Rush grade 3-4 white water course, as their equal parts nervous and encouraging caregivers looked on. The course stretches for 300 metres, with the equivalent of an Olympic-sized swimming pool rushing through it every 95 seconds to create a solid mass of white water.
“It was so much fun - the rafting is all about teamwork!” says Zander, age 14 (all names changed for privacy). “It was amazing!” says Tania, age 13.
"Our youngest foster son said after the rafting experience, 'do you know I will never forget this and I've built some awesome memories!' As far as I'm concerned, this is precisely what these young people deserve in their young lives, opportunities to experience positive fun experiences, thus creating positive memories,” says one of the caregivers in attendance.
“I’d totally recommend rafting to other kids, especially if they haven’t been before”
VOYCE – Whakarongo Mai
VOYCE – Whakarongo Mai is a newly established connection and advocacy service for children and young people who are or have been in care, aged from 0 to 25.
Having just launched on 1 April 2017, the independent NGO has a strong focus on connection, and building a positive sense of identity and community. The service is working to develop a presence nationwide, with plans for future events up and down the country over the coming months.
Previous events that VOYCE – Whakarongo Mai has organised include movie nights, a safari adventure at the zoo, and a first-hand circus acrobatics experience.
As VOYCE – Whakarongo Mai grows, it will offer direct advocacy services face-to-face, online, and over the phone. Over time, the service will connect tamariki and rangatahi to advocates and trusted adults to further support them, and bring their collective voice back to the care system.
Find out more about VOYCE – Whakarongo Mai