As the sun peeked over the horizon for the first time on January the 13th 2020, sleeping bags, tents, luggage and supplies piled up, one by one. A special group gathered together on this early Monday morning and although they weren’t sure what was in store for them, they were getting ready to embark on a journey of a lifetime. They were getting ready, for the Hikoi of Hope.
Comprised of a group of over 100 rangatahi & whānau, many of the participants have suffered loss or trauma through suicide or unexpected death, The Hikoi of Hope, organised by Te Taitimu Trust, was established to be a positive event for whānau and Rangatahi. In association with Te Au (of te Rau Ora) and the Police, the focus of the Hikoi of Hope is to promote resilience, caring and to develop leadership skills within rangatahi and their community.
Although Te Taitimu trust runs regular trips and activities for Rangatahi, this year’s Hikoi was a step up from other trips. Five years in the planning, Zack Makoare and his team of whānau and volunteers worked hard to ensure this 10-day journey across the country, travelling from Hastings to Dunedin, by bus and by boat was to be a success. Some of the activities the group did included: Visiting an ancient pā site (Huriawa) in Karitane, hangi at Puketeraki, swimming at Moana Pools in Dunedin and visiting the lookout at Tokata. Rangatahi also learnt key skills around water and were able to go diving in Dunedin. Zack commented that the people who were lucky enough to have been a part of the hikoi will be significantly changed as a result.
The Hikoi of Hope this year was a journey of whanaungatanga, kotahitanga and positivity.
Zack Makoare and his team of whānau and volunteers, says the trip was a huge success and couldn’t have done it without the support of his team and supporting organisations.
Organisation: Te Taitimu Trust
*This Rangatahi initiative was supported by Te Au : The National Māori Suicide Prevention Office.