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A new programme being offered in 2018 owes its existence to Aunty Ma, who was part of the discussion around its creation and remains the kaitiaki of the programme.

The Level 3 Te Kumanu Raeroa programme will give tauira the skills and understanding to support our kuia and koroua in ways that are most appropriate for their needs.

It combines tikanga Māori with an understanding of health services to ensure kuia/koroua and their whānau are not only well looked after, but cherished, understood and empowered in the community.

Kaiārahi Shirley Ikkala says the programme came about after discussions with Aunty Ma, who passed away in May but remains kaitiaki of Te Kumanu Raeroa.

“Aunty Ma used to visit the old people in Te Awamutu and was in the process of being assessed as a carer. Her kōrero that ‘ageing is a personal stepping stone of emotional growth’ is a signpost for this course and her voice is part of this programme.”

Shirley says the 18 week course is aimed at anyone over the age of 16 who has an interest in learning how best to ensure our kuia and koroua are well cared for.

“Often, they can care for themselves but this is about whānau understanding how to care for them,” she says.

“It’s bringing whānau together so we can talk to each other about things we sometimes find difficult to talk about. Our kuia and koroua have valuable contributions they can make so this is about more than caring for them, it’s about cherishing and honouring them.”

“It’s about understanding the ageing process and what happens when you age. The sad thing is our elderly – along with our young - are our most vulnerable and for some they have experienced abuse and neglect. We should cherish our kuia and koroua and they should be able to cherish their whānau.”

The programme foundations are located within mātauranga Māori and covers both Māori and non-Maori aspects of caring for the elderly.

It covers subjects such as differing views on ageing, tikanga, whānau kaitiaki roles and responsibilities for kuia and koroua.

It also includes effective communication, advocacy, strategies and support for both kuia and koroua and their whānau. 

Shirley says there has been lots of interest from Pasifika communities wanting to be involved and she expects that interest to grow as people hear more about the course.

Te Kumanu Raeroa is initially being offered in Whāngarei, Māngere, Whirikoka and Pōrirua.

For more information, go to:   https://www.twoa.ac.nz/Nga-Akoranga-Our-Programmes/Health/Certificate-in-Tiaki-Kuia-Koroua

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