Support for Pacific high school students during Covid-19 resurgence
Providing food packages and financial help for utility bills has been a top priority for many of the organisations who are supporting Pacific families during the Covid-19 crisis.
But a need that is just as important is support for Pacific secondary school students so they can have the right tools to continue their studies during lockdown.
Dr Glenn Doherty, CEO of the Langimalie Tongan Health Society Incorporated in Onehunga, says the educational needs of students can be overlooked during a health and economic crisis. His organisation, which is a health provider for Tongan families, is determined to help Pacific students so they don’t fall through the cracks.
“When you’re Year 12 or 13, you’re preparing to either study or work. These Pasifika students are our priority because they are going to be the ones in line to financially help out their families during this time. We want to give them a step up so they can maintain consistency in their learning and allow them to complete their education.”
Like many other Pasifika Futures partners across the country, the Langimalie centre has provided Pacific families with food vouchers and financial assistance during this time. They’ve also provided students with laptops and reliable internet connection so they can continue their learning.
“Many students don’t have the right resources and are struggling because of more immediate priorities like having a roof over your head and food on the table. It’s important for our students to maintain some consistency with their education provider and with their learning objectives, that’s why we support them.”
Langimalie has taken their support a step further by providing a virtual learning centre for the hundreds of Pacific students who are currently in Alert Level 3 lockdown in Auckland.
“One of our board members is a secondary school teacher and runs a virtual classroom. The students log in and she can answer any questions and interacts with them about their learning and their curriculum.”
Dr Doherty says Pacific health providers, like Langimalie, can offer a wide range of support services for families in need and encourages people to reach out.
“These are difficult times. If people need support and information then we are here. It’s really hard to face these challenges when you’re vulnerable. If you have real issues and need support, make sure you connect with your service providers because we will do anything to help you and your family.”
To access a Whānau Ora Family Support Package please click on the following link to connect directly with one of our partners - http://pacifichealth.org.nz/covid-19-support/