Pacific Learners Education hopes to address the cultural, social, health and wellbeing issues faced by Pacific families in New Zealand.
They are a community-led Initiative birthed out of the uncertainty created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Founded by Nigel and Ofa Lewis, Pacific Learners Education is comprised of 10 Pacific educators, from early childcare kaiako to primary school teachers.
This diverse group creates animated online videos, with hopes to address the cultural, social, health and wellbeing issues faced by Pacific families and their children in New Zealand, Ofa explains.
“The content showcases different Pacific cultures, tells stories and provides guidance and information that hopefully resonate with families,” she says.
“Group members meet regularly to discuss the issues facing our Pacific community and collaborates on content including animation, script, stories and key messages which will help our people.”
Nigel and Ofa established the Pacific Learners initiative six months ago, in addition to running a multicultural Early Childcare Centre in Otahuhu where approximately 90 percent of the attendees are of Pacific descent.
Of Tongan descent, Ofa is a Senior Manager in a corporate organisation managing business strategy and process integration.
Up until recently, her husband Nigel was a Manager at Mt Eden Correctional Facility, where he worked closely with Maori and Pacific prisoners and facilitated Maori initiatives.
“We are both truly passionate about supporting Pacific families through ECE and the Pacific Learners Education initiative,” Ofa says.
The recently released 20 online animated videos have collectively attracted more than 110,000 views and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive from both Educators and Pacific communities alike.
Ofa adds the long-term plan is to build this resource so Pacific families and their children can search through an online library of short entertaining animated videos which educate, inspire, and provide guidance that addresses cultural, social, health and wellbeing issues.
“If the Pacific Learners animated online videos can support the Pacific community, children and educators in a meaningful way, then the initiative has achieved the intended outcomes.”