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Pasefika Proud is a social change movement – ‘by Pacific for Pacific’ – to boost wellbeing for Pacific families and transform attitudes, behaviours and norms that enable violence. Our name and strapline embody our strengths-based, community-led approach:
Pasefika Proud: Our Families, Our People, Our Responsibility
Pasefika Proud embodies a vision of strong and vibrant Pacific children, young people, and their families. Wellbeing for Pacific families occurs when all aspects of the individual and collective are in balance, co-existing with environments, kinship and support systems while recognising mana and tapu. Pacific cultures are strengths that can be used positively to promote and enhance resilience within Pacific families.
Pasefika Proud mobilises pacific individuals, families, and communities to take responsibility for the issues they are facing, find the solutions, and take leadership in implementing them.
Our approach and values
Introduced in 2011, Pasefika Proud has been designed and developed as a partnership between the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) and Pacific communities in New Zealand. From the outset, Pacific peoples have been shaping the Pasefika Proud approach and action based on community knowledge about what is required to achieve meaningful change for families that prevents violence. In 2010, more than 500 participants at a national ‘Champions for Change’ summit and regional fono around the country were clear about what was required to support positive change:
- Pacific peoples must stand up and take responsibility for eliminating violence in their families and communities – identifying the issues and solutions, and leading the change.
- We must look within our own unique Pacific cultures for our solutions.
“Culture is a vital ingredient for building healthy relationships and meaningful engagement. It is culture that provides us with our unique perspectives, and also culture which defines the way we behave, and relate to the world…”
NGA VAKA O KĀIGA TAPU
Strong community leadership
Community-led change is central to the Pasefika Proud approach. Leadership in this context refers to those individuals or collectives who inspire and drive change within their communities or places of influence – for example, their families, sports clubs, churches or workplaces. These leaders do not necessarily have titles or formal leadership status but, nevertheless, are looked up to by other community members as role models. Some communities have given names to this leadership as part of their Pasefika Proud work.
“Our knowledge of family violence in Pacific families is that in order for change to happen, we need to own the truth, stand up and speak out – we need leadership that embodies a warrior heart. Tongan’s use the term ‘loto’i to’a’...”
JEAN MITAERA, CHIEF ADVISOR PACIFIC STRATEGY WELTEC & WHITIREIA, 2019
Unique cultural strengths
Our approach draws on the insights and strengths within Pacific cultures and communities. It focuses on affirming family and community aspirations and prioritising collective community solutions. We encourage innovation, fresh thinking and local action that increase protective factors, improve outcomes and promote change.
Pasefika Proud currently works with the eight key Pacific nations in New Zealand – Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Niue, Samoa, Tokelau, Tonga and Tuvalu – each with its own set of cultural beliefs, customs, languages, values and traditions. These unique cultural attributes provide the foundation for the distinct wellbeing / family violence prevention strategies that are being developed by each Pacific nation.
However, it is also important to acknowledge the commonalities across these groups – those things that link us as Pacific peoples. Pasefika Proud provides an overarching framework, based on shared Pacific principles, values and practices, within which each Pacific nation can develop its own response.
“As a community of Tuvaluans in New Zealand, we have a strong aspiration to not lose sight of who we are and to actively design, in the spirit of our traditions, our own innovative solutions to challenges that arise. The ‘Tuvalu Family Violence Prevention Plan’ is a great example of this”.
MR UELESE MALAGA, PRESIDENT, TUVALU AUCKLAND COMMUNITY TRUST