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What is SAYN and how have Community Advisors supported them and their award winning Coordinator?

This story comes from one of our advisors in Auckland and it tells the story of attending the South Auckland Youth Network (SAYN) governance meeting where she got to hear first-hand about the challenges of the past year but also see their energy and enthusiasm of a young Coordinator:  

Last night when I attended the SAYN Governance meeting, I was so happy to see this new national youth worker resource complete, especially as it features our very own SAYN Coordinator; a young Māori woman, Kyanna Hetaraka-Rua from South Auckland, representing the four youth networks, STRIVE, Community Trust and the South Auckland Youth Network (SAYN) by being on the review panel for the new national Code of Ethics. 

Photo of SAYN Governance group

QES Group photo and their nominated hero, SAYN Coordinator, Kyanna Hetaraka-Rua.

I think it is an excellent achievement that South Auckland, which has the highest youth population in Aotearoa and has known complexities, was represented and had a voice in this review.

For those who aren’t aware, SAYN consists of four individual networks with a database of hundreds of members that make up the overarching SAYN. I have worked with SAYN since it's establishment, and with Kyanna last year to collate feedback from the SAYN network members to advise on the COVID-19 impacts in South Auckland. 

We passed this on to the Department of Internal Affairs and our Minister, the Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector.

In addition to this, a large South Auckland youth education facility, Quality Education Services (QES), held their Annual Stakeholders Event on 21 October 2020 in which the SAYN Coordinator Kyanna received their 'Community Hero Award'; acknowledging her SAYN work specifically around keeping networks informed during the COVID-19 lockdown.  QES member, Rebecca So'e, talks about the reasons for giving Kyanna the award and I have underlined the comment that really stands out for me: 

"The reason for the award was to honour a stakeholder for their work in the community. This year we chose SAYN Coordinator Kyanna Hetaraka-Rua as the recipient. The reasons were because of the following:

  • Your comms during COVID became an essential service to the essential service workers.
  • We wanted someone who was young and starting out in their career as we always honour those who have been doing the mahi for 20-30 years
  • The feedback from our team was one of gratefulness for the continuous updates especially during the COVID lockdown – we received a funding application from you which we applied for and got and was able to give food parcels to our clients with that money.

Overall we love you and are championing you on, we are all excited for your future and wanted to show you that”

With ongoing collaboration and strong support from STRIVE Community Trust, (who is the SAYN’s governance fund-holder) Lottery Auckland Community Committee (who fund the SAYN Coordinator role and volunteer expenses for each of the four networks that make up SAYN) and the Advisor (who connected and supported the establishment of the SAYN governance in November 2016 and continues to provide advice and connection to resources to SAYN and their members and volunteers in South Auckland).

“Together we help the SAYN Coordinator navigate paths forward to support our youth workers and services to best support our South Auckland youth”.