Wiri Heals Youth, a local youth group, recently organised a vaccination event that brought the community together in a festive environment on a scorching Summer’s day at the Wiri Stream Reserve on Trevor Hosken Drive.
The Shot Wiri, let’s get vaccinated event on Friday 10 December was organised by Wiri Heals (an acronym for Healing, Emotions, Active, Learning, Society) or Wiri Heals Youth (WHY) and saw 71 local people get vaccinated.
The aim was to get 50 local people vaccinated with free food, drinks and games on offer.
Erana Ranui lives in Te Wirihana (Wiri), saw the event on her Facebook timeline, and got vaccinated to protect her children and grandchildren.
“I just had to get my shot done for my 3-year-old and my mokopuna, I’ve had my second dose now,” Erana said as she sat in the waiting bay tent.
Alongside Erana was her 15-year-old daughter Teremoana Ranui Emile who also got her second dose.
“I got vaccinated for the kids in our family but especially so I can see my nana,” says Teremoana who echoes her mother’s sentiments about getting vaccinated for the health and safety of her loved ones.
“We’re going to have her over for Christmas now, it’ll be good to spend time with her.”
Eltre Oaariki is a Wiri resident and active member of Do Good Feel Good. She is involved in WHY because she wants to see more opportunities for her community to connect after months of being in lockdown.
“We wanted to bring the community together after this lockdown. A lot of people were anxious to come out but we brought the vaccination bus here so we can help educate them and make sure they stay safe,” she says.
“Whether you were vaccinated or unvaccinated you were welcome. If you were unvaccinated you were in a space to be educated and encouraged to get your shot.”
Neighbourhood Coordinator Elizabeth (Liz) Filimoemaka said the event was put together by the community, for the community.
“Wiri Heals Youth was formed online from a group of young Wiri residents, and they planned this entire event via Zoom.”
“You wouldn’t be able to tell that it was their first time working together in person,” says Liz who lives in Wiri and supported the youth to mobilise their community.
“The leadership they’re showing in serving their community is encouraging. On top of that, the genuine aroha they share for their fellow residents is inspiring change within their neighbourhood as other young people are wanting to join them.”