Creative Genealogy – Mana Rangatahi
A formal evaluation of the Mana Rangatahi Programme has been completed by AC Nielson to assist in its development. The evaluation centres upon the programmes performance in relation to meeting its objectives, in terms of satisfaction, relevance and outcome to its participants. A summary of this report is given below;
Awataha Marae’s Mana Rangatahi programme sits within the strategic framework of the Creative Genealogy Pathways. The Pathway has been designed to develop the latent creative potential of Maori and to help stair case them towards further education and employment.
“The Mana Rangatahi programme was created three years ago to address the care and wellbeing of at risk Maori youth. The methodology seeks to tie participants to Maori cultural values and paradigms through creative practices, helping grow their sense of belonging, identity and sense of mana. The broad programme outcomes are an internalised commitment to change from participants.”
Currently participants joined the programme through 'targeted intervention' working with local schools, alternative education, special education, local communities, and youth justice. All participants were young Maori males aged between 14 and 24 years old. For the purposes of the study, participants were categorised into 3 groups;
All intermediates and seniors had demonstrated patterns of dysfunctional behaviour, such as low attendance at school, negative behaviour at school and even violent and aggressive behaviour.
Some had associations with gangs while others went through the juvenile court system and were sentenced to community service.
Participants joined the programme through different channels. Beginners entered the programme as an option, as part of their educational programme at school. Intermediates joined through a case by case basis at school, by being proactive and seeking permission to participate in the programme. Seniors joined through various events, including referrals from the Maori community and seeing the programme work at the Marae.
The Mana Rangatahi Programme evolves around four core themes: functional features, social environment, values, and feelings and life aspirations.
The first level is functional features, where participants learn about the Maori world/culture, the food, and also manual and creative learning in respect to carving. Second, the social environment is where participants learn co-operation and camaraderie. They also form connections and relationships, experience the new and different environment and have positive role models/leaders through tutors and elders at the Marae. Third level within the programme, participants also gain a range of values, including patience, respect, teamwork, responsibility, identity, open mindedness, listener and talker and the underlying means of everything. Lastly, are the feelings and life aspirations that are gained by the participants through committing to the programme. Participants broaden their horizons, learn to be a leader and become a positive role model, while being true to themselves.
Over time, participants perception changes and they go through three phases of change; Externalising, Internalising, and Passing It On
Externalising is where participants may not be feeling strong personal growth changes but are gaining awareness of what is happening. They realize how privileged they are and some values & life skills have been understood but have not been put fully into practice.
Internalising refers to participants that have gained values and life skills and demonstrated them within and outside the Mana Rangatahi Programme. They are also acknowledging the changes to themselves and openly recognising that it is thanks to the carving program.Lastly, Passing It On, which refers to participants rejecting negative role models, and becoming a more positive role model themselves. They acknowledge the role and impact the Mana Rangatahi Programme has had in their lives and are thankful for the choice. Participants are now, able to give to others and be pro-active in their own lives.
The Mana Rangatahi Programme, meets, and in some cases exceeds it's outcomes. It provides Maori youth with a constructive way to channel themselves and in turn allow a transformation in respect to their behaviour, attitude and perspective. The programme encourages 'Learning who you are' and in turn participants gain a sense of identity. By completing the first piece by hand, participants gain a sense of achievement, self esteem, confidence and pride through their work.Overall participants are satisfied and all would recommend the program, with the majority of the intermediates and seniors already doing so from their own initiative.