Elza Gibu Joseph
Manawatū is one of the most culturally diverse regions in New Zealand with more than 130 different ethnic communities from all over the world choosing to settle here to bring a dynamic international perspective to our community. Another advantage is that Manawatū is the student city of New Zealand. The role of youth is very significant these days; we are coming forward and sharing our opinions to inspire and make society better.
I was part of the young adults interfaith forum on Racism last year, which was organised by the Palmerston North Interfaith group and took place at Square Edge/ Cafe Royale on 11 August, 2020. It was such a life-changing experience for me personally, especially to know myself more and create an identity for myself in our society. This year I am so keen to participate in our second young adults event, which the young adults themselves are organising.
This year our main focus is to have a wananga at the Palmerston North Youth Space so that young adults from the ages of 15 to 25 can come together, talk about two issues that greatly affect our lives – gender discrimination and issues in religious and ethnic diversity – and have fun at the same time.
This year we named our event, “Generation 20/21: Youth Korero.” We intend this to be a conversation among young people about the things that we are currently facing in our society these days due to discrimination, and discussing what we can do to eradicate these.
We envision two outcomes of this wananga:
- At the end of the korero, young adults will have crafted an action statement outlining changes that need to take place to counter the forces of gender discrimination within society. Similar statements will be crafted about how to celebrate religious and ethnic diversity.
- These statements representing the local Youth Voice will be given to the City Council, the Minister for Youth and Ethnic Communities and the media.
We warmly invite all young adults to come along and join the discussion. You can register via our Facebook page or click here for the direct link to the Goolge form. Registrations can be done in groups or individually. Group registrations will be ideal as it will be great for us to get statistics of the representation of our youth group.
Elza is a year 13 student at St Peter’s College, Palmerston North.