Pasifika Wellness Programme

By Scotty Opetaia | Posted: Wednesday March 31, 2021

Noa'ia, Mauri, Ni Sa Bula Vinaka, Fakaalofa lahi atu, Tlofa, Kia orana, Ml e lelei, Ml n, Talofa lava, Tn koutou katoa and warm Pacific greetings to you all.

Over the past 4 weeks Otago Boys' High School has introduced the new Pasifika Wellness Programme Tama Tula’i (Raising Men). 

The programme was designed and developed to assist and help our Pasifika students promoting wellness, self-awareness, wellbeing, and providing an opportunity for students to build their self-confidence within and around school, identifying what life looks like for them as a young Pacific Ali’i/Tama.

A big focus for the students has been around learning more about their cultural identity  and how to raise the profile of cultural awareness, around the proud traditions of Pasifika students from Otago Boys’ High School. The programme will help the boys to build positive working relationships both in and around school. The programme is open to all Pasifika students’ Years 9-13. The students are encouraged to promote servant leadership within their peer groups and encourage the growth and development of new Pasifika students from the junior school.

Our programme starts at 7am in the school gym and starts with a quick shake of the hands as the students walk in. Before the programme starts there is the traditional quick lotu/prayer and then it's game on. The students are then asked to log in and are asked several questions before starting the day. After the housekeeping is done then it is on to the activities for the morning which include some fun physical and thinking challenges. Before the morning is done at 08:15 they come together as one to say thanks and celebrate the brotherhood. Then it's off to have breakfast together with the awesome ladies in the canteen.

The Tama Tula’i programme is run by Pelu Taele Pavihi the Programme Coordinator who is of Samoan and Niuean descent and is also an Old Boy of the School. Pelu attended Otago Boys' High School from 1995 – 2000. After leaving Otago Boys' Pelu attended Otago University and the Otago Sports Institute. After finishing his study Pelu left Dunedin in 2005 to pursue a professional career in Rugby which lasted for over 15 years. In 2019 Pelu and his family returned to New Zealand. Pelu currently also works at Te Kaika Medical Centre/Arai Te Uru Whare Hauora as the Community Health Co-ordinator.

Pelu is extremely excited and honoured to be a part of the new Tama Tula’i programme which gives him the opportunity to work with a new generation of Pasifika students. It also offers him the ability to give back to his old school that has given him so many opportunities.

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