Online platform empowers Pacific youth

By Marc Membrere 23 May 2020, 1:00PM

A platform that utilises social media to reach out to young people is empowering youth during the COVID19 lockdown. 

Called the “Pacific Lockdown Support for Teens,” the platform was created by Seumanutafa McCarthy, who is based in New Zealand.

He wanted to empower youth with knowledge, insights and encouragement. One of the driving forces behind the programme is the fact "too many Pacific youth end up in the "wrong statistics."

So Mr. McCarthy wanted to create something meaningful to help them. Through the platform, he invites people to share their experience as teenagers and the amazing work they have done so far. 

Maleseu Doris Tulifau, of Brown Girl Woke, appeared as a guest on the programme. They talked about sexual abuse, domestic violence and difficulties the youth face such as self-confidence and knowing their value in their family and community.

During the programme, Maluseu stated that her work had started when she was studying in the U.S and started to learn a lot of information on herself as a survivor of sexual abuse and domestic violence and difficulties the youth face.

"There was never any pacific islander conferences on domestic violence or sexual assault and I started the first ones while I was in university, in a safe space,” she said during the programme.

She stated that if anybody in the youth that has the same experience can work together with her to try and break the cycle of these issues.

The organisation that she founded to empower teens B.G.W, has a support team for the youth that has dreams and support them in achieving their goals if they find obstacles in their path such as lack of family support.

In a phone interview with Samoa Observer, Maluseu shared that Mr. McCarthy is the first person she has seen using the internet to reach out to the youth that is in need of help and encouragement.

“The main point of his platform is to speak to youth and also reasons why the youth are not being heard,” she said in a phone interview with Samoa Observer.

“So the main things we were talking about were my own experiences and for me is to make sure kids can feel like someone is relatable that's an adult. So that’s why I do a lot of work on domestic violence and sexual abuse.”

She advises anyone going through these problems that, “There is always someone you can talk to. Everybody has that one adult and one friend that they can speak to. It is always hard because you never know when you might stick to the wrong person because they haven’t experienced it,” she said.

“If you can find someone to go with and have a friend or someone to support you to go together, it's always good.”

Attempts by Samoa Observer to get comments from Mr McCarthy were unsuccessful.

By Marc Membrere 23 May 2020, 1:00PM

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