Rainbow is a term used to represent the LGBTQI community (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transsexual Queer and Intersex). We also acknowledge that this term excludes our Pacific community of Fa’afafine (Samoan), Fakaleiti (Tongan), Whakawahine/takatapui/tangata ira tane (Maori), ‘Akava’ine (Cook Island) Drodrolagi (Fijian) Mahu (Hawaiian).
Pacific Rainbow Youth often face challenges relating to family and peers, acceptance, as well as a lack of cultural understanding from non-Pacific. They experience harassment, discrimination and bullying, and often struggle with finding their own identity and the ability to be confident in their own skin.
Our Rainbow Fale represents all the work we do that contributes to building a supportive environment for the Pasifika Rainbow community. We provide a safe place for the development of resilience strategies, which leads to a greater confidence in school, family and community settings for our Rainbow youth.
Under the Rainbow Fale, we have three current offerings including a mentoring programme, support services and bespoke events.
The Fusion mentoring programme is based on the effective youth mentoring model (ref – NZ youth mentoring network) also underpinned by Pacific principals outlined in the Fonofale model (ref – Fuimaono Karl Pulotu-Endemann).
Fusion connects voluntary trained mentors with Pasifika Rainbow Youth mentees, to support them in making good decisions as well as learning how to deal with the challenges they face in every day life with family or peers. We support our youth in all aspects of their wellbeing and ensure that they are prepared for their transition into adulthood.
With this as a foundation and our commitment to planning and preparation, evaluation and inclusiveness, we are able to create quality relationships with our young people. We organise social events for the wider Fusion community, as we believe that connection to others is vital to a positive outcome.
Our Fusion community is growing, and we look forward to being able to work with more Pacific Rainbow Youth in the years to come.
For more information on what it takes to be a mentee or mentor, contact our team.
After engaging with our Pacific Youth, we have highlighted the difficulty of identifying and accessing services that are tailored specifically for the Rainbow community.
We also were made aware of the struggle of connecting with others who were going through similar situations of acceptance, harassment or discrimination, with many feeling a sense of isolation.
Isolation and the inability to identify appropriate services definitely has a negative impact on the well-being of our young people. Rainbow Fale is here to support our youth by keeping them connected to others like them or in a similar situation, so that they can build a sense of community and belonging that they may not have otherwise had. We advise our Rainbow Youth of the services available to them that cater for their needs so they are able to feel supported while they build their confidence and grow into adulthood.
Our Rainbow Fale events are closely connected to our mentoring programme, with purpose-driven events highlighting social issues and reinforcing our brand in the community.
Check out FB page for updates and events https://www.facebook.com/RainbowFale/
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