Friday, 6 April 2012

Project Taukana rocks...

Project Taukana in Action. 
Palmerston North has a wonderful project that leads the way toward better social community values and self sufficiency for those fortunate enough to share in its operation. It brings together all the elements that lead to cooperative learning between a mentor and the mentored. It is an amazingly simple but most effective way to introduce behaviour change…the mentor learns while guiding…and the mentored learns by having a model…each learns because each wants to…and this of course is the right climate for learning. “Learning because you want to and when you want to”, is the key ingredient in life long learning. It is also learning while doing rather than rote learning and so the balance of skills learned are far more embedded and remembered for future use.

You may not have heard of Project Tuakana; it’s a project that seeks Maori males who are living a healthy life style giving some of their time in mentoring Maori youth. What they do is to provide Taiohi [Maori male youth] with some of the more practical tools so as to be able to engage in everyday life. It’s not easy… but it is greatly rewarding. Last Wednesday night clear evidence was presented that proved the projects future success. It proved also that there are some potential chefs in our community. Teams made up of Mentors and their mentored   partners took part in a Master Chef Kai cook off at the Youth Space building in
George St.

It was without doubt a successful demonstration of the creative and innovative application of Mentor type learning outcomes as the parents and families will attest. It was also fun to enjoy both the entertainment and food that was supplied.
It was most educational to watch how the teams working in the kitchen to prepare their various dishes in the time allotted mastered that task. There was no room for sleepy kiwi hobbits here. Out front were three judges [pictured] waiting to judge the quality of each dish…it was better than the TV version of Master Chef.

The Whaioro Trust via its Project Tuakana project is a mover of this new enlightened and progressive approach to teen development. The person who organised the Master Chef event as a conformational step in the learning process was Coordinator Dale Anderson aided by her team of willing helpers.
The enlightened creation of the Youth Space Centre as a part of the library has proven yet again its value for activities such as this and the manager of the Youth Space Center and her team is to be congratulated. The Library is truly the living room of the city.

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