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  • Writer's pictureCarol Barron

A day in the life of a Methodist Youth Worker

Our Methodist Alliance members offer a wide range of services from the cradle to the grave to whānau around Aotearoa New Zealand. Young people often get bad press in our media, however, our kaimahi that work with young people, are passionate and talk very highly of the rangatahi they work alongside. One of these passionate and dedicated kaimahi is Fred Ama.

Fred is a Senior Youth Worker and is based at Wesley Community Action in Waitangirua. Fred works with a programme called Te Roopu Tiaki Rangatahi (TRTR), and this is what he says about his mahi:

1. How long have you been working in your role?

I have been in my role for five years.

2. What do you enjoy most about your work?

I enjoy working alongside my team. Wesley (Waitangirua) has a fun and exciting working culture that brings the best out of each other. Supporting each other in different areas and ensuring that we as a team are inspired to inspire others. We have a great management team that values our work we do and our wellbeing.

3. What does a typical day look like for you?

Every morning we start our day with a team karakia and after we see what everyone is doing for the day.

We have a quick debrief for our youth team, to see what’s on top for the day or what’s coming up. We ask if they have any issues or concerns? And we can korero - discuss this. Or maybe is there a highlight of something good that has happened with a young person that is shared with the group.

Depending on what youth we have on the day we prep to see what type of session we will deliver - to tailor the session to their particular needs. Our most popular program is ‘Switch’ and it’s an outdoors program. It could be mountain biking, kayaking, volunteering, outdoor cooking, or hiking etc. We get the gear ready and head out. Usually this takes up to three hours of our day.

At the end of day we return all our gear and head back to office for a bit of administrative work.

4. What is on your to-do list?

Travel the world. I enjoy travelling. I have been to a few places and would like to see more.

5. What excites you most about the work? What do you love most about your job?

Creating opportunities and pathways for our young people. I’m excited I get to be part of their journey. What I love about my job is the freedom to create a space where young people feel safe to express themselves. A space where they can feel no judgement. A space where they know they can thrive.

6. What have you learned since you started?

If you create a positive environment in your workplace or whatever surrounding you are in, you create an environment that people want to thrive in or want to be part of. This is what Wesley offers. And I speak about this a lot with young people.

7. If you could change two things about the world, what would you change & why?

Global Warming would be in my top 2. There is so much going on with our world especially around this issue. A lot of contributing factors. If we don’t do anything about it the next generation will have to deal with the consequences. Big changes need to happen immediately, not small changes.

Racism - it still exists today. No culture is better or supreme than the other. No language is better than the other. We all may look different on the outside, but we are 100% the same in the inside. We are all unique in our own special way.

8. If you could give one piece of advice, what would it be?

“Opportunities don’t happen, you create them.”

9. What is worth smiling about right now?

My family. They are my everything.

Fred’s story shows how his values reflect those of the Methodist Church and his work reflects our Methodist social principles. You can support the mahi that Fred and his team at TRTR do at Waitangirua, by donating to Wesley Community Action - Feel free to contact Wesley Community Action to find out more, or how your support can make a difference in the lives of the rangatahi - young people they work with to realise their dreams.

Carol Barron, National Coordinator

03 375 0512 | 027 561 9164 |

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