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Whānau Ora Navigators Critical For Whānau During COVID-19

Having the support of Whānau Ora Navigators was critical for whānau as they negotiated the impacts of COVID-19 in their bubbles across Te Waipounamu.

The fears, priorities and needs of over 18,000 whānau members were revealed from an online survey conducted as part of the Manaaki20 campaign run by Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu.

“Manaaki20 was in direct contrast to COVID-19; rather than being fixated on the virus we focussed on what we could do – the expression of manaaki towards one another,” said Pouārahi, Helen Leahy.

“Our Nav Nation is a connected effective network of support for Navigators in Te Waipounamu and was a key part of our approach. The Navigators’ role is to empower whānau, they rely on their connections with agencies and networked relationships as key drivers for change.

Analysis of our monitoring data and case narrative demonstrate how whānau, with the support of Navigators, are making positive progress by taking small steps toward a larger goal. During the course of lockdown, that support was often seen as vital for helping whānau to view their situations with courage and with confidence.”

  • “My Whanau Ora Nav has been ringing me daily to check on me”
  • “Having my navigator in daily contact with me has helped me hugely to have someone to talk to she was able to drop me off kai at the start of the week I am so grateful to have her supporting me as I don’t know what I'd do without her cos my family is all in the north island and don’t usually stay in contact”.

“Countless examples of cases showed that the strengths-based approach of the Navigator, the complexity of the whānau need, and the resourcefulness of the Navigator in supporting whānau to achieve their goals made all the difference between despair and self-determination.”

  • “I have been in touch with Whanau Ora and the reason was because I am struggling to get by with the bills I have and the income I get. I had to resort to living on less meals for myself so that my son is able to eat. It's not only like this during covid-19 however it is worse. I have managed to find different ways around it however the food we have for the week is my main concern. It makes me feel like a failure as a mother”.

A series of videos is launched today sharing the stories of some of the 85 Whānau Ora Navigators employed across Te Waipounamu. http://www.teputahitanga.org/whanau-ora-navigators

An infograph of last week’s activities related to COVID-19, over and above the usual work with whānau, reveals the ways in which Navigators are keeping contact with whānau in a social distancing environment.

“The biggest issue in moving forward is the sheer scale of demand facing Whānau Ora Navigators. Over lockdown, another 4000 new whānau sought support from Whānau Ora – 600 more whānau than had been seen across the course of an entire year in 2018/19.

“The feedback from our Navigators, is that despite some devastating circumstances, whānau are building capability, leading their own change, and accessing whānau-centred services with our support alongside them,” said Leahy.

Find out more at www.manaaki20.org

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