Healthy Relationship Programme Development

In response to calls from parents and community leaders, Shama is creating a healthy relationships programme for ethnic young people.

Ethnic young people need strong networks of community around them to mitigate social marginalization, and addressing and celebrating ethnic family relationship and community dynamics are part of healthy relationships for ethnic young people – it’s not all about romantic relationships.

Shama is working with ethnic young people and parents and caregivers to develop a holistic healthy relationships programme to meet these needs.  

At Connections! 2019, ethnic communities identified gaps in culturally responsive healthy relationships programmes for ethnic young people in Aotearoa New Zealand, and key values that must underpin such programmes. 

Key values identified in Connections!

  • Education – to increase availability of information for all community members
  • Respect – to develop respect for different gender, cultural and religious identities, develop respect in relationships and what it truly means to respect others as human
  • Openness – to establish processes for addressing violence or issues within communities
  • Acceptance – to grow acceptance for all community members to address stigma and collective community shame, including around disclosing violence or talking about sex
  • Justice – is highly valued as a restorative process for communities to challenge dominance and create fair community dynamics

  • Communication – strengthening the value and practice of talking about difficult topics enables protective conversations within relationships, families and communities

  • Healthy physical contact – many communities value healthy physical contact within families to strengthen social bonds. Intercultural dialogue allows us to explicitly explore and check boundaries rather than make assumptions

  • Culturally oriented communications/practice – positive valuing of ‘normal’ cultural values 

  • Human rights – extending education about awareness of rights in the context of violence

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