Introducing Moana Vā
As ‘navigators of Pacific Pride’, Moana Vā will be supporting COGA to ensure our practice is a safe and inclusive space for all people.
Moana Vā is an Ōtautahi Christchurch Pacific Collective founded in 2022 to provide support, advocacy and mentorship for Pacific Rainbow+ communities. In an area of New Zealand that is historically conservative, their vital services provide community connections for those who might otherwise feel isolated.
In the community, Moana Vā works to support the mental health and wellbeing of Pacific Rainbow+ people of all ages by connecting friendships and mentorships, with a variety of Rainbow leaders, whose lived experiences have enabled them to flourish.
They also support workers in the healthcare sector to understand the lived experiences of community members. By hosting workshops and providing one-on-one support with trained facilitators, Moana Vā helps Ōtautahi health providers and organisations empathise with the people it represents and meet their needs. The goal is to foster better support networks and resilience for these communities.
COGA will be partnering with Moana Vā to carry out awareness training and workshops for staff to ensure we are meeting the needs of this community, in terms of language and cultural tradition, as well as services and treatment requirements for our non-binary and transgender patients.
Gender identities are diverse across the Pacific, with transgenderism being a widely accepted and traditional aspect of many cultures. From the Samoan fa’afafine to the Tahitian Mahu, there is a range of terminology and protocols to learn, as well as aspects of spirituality to be aware of in our practice. We look forward to learning from the team at Moana Vā and ensuring our actions, language and services allow the Pacific Rainbow+ community to feel safe, supported and well when visiting our clinics.
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