By Theresa Tupuola-Sorenson
PKL Education Director
My Lockdown Adventures follows the journey of a young boy who uses hope and imagination to free his mind from the calamities that surround him. He finds a magic sanctuary where he can sit quietly in his thoughts and take refuge in being still. By doing this, his imagination awakens his dreams for the future and provides a mesmerising escape from reality. Clinicians may call this meditation, kids may call this daydreaming and parents could very well call this hiding from online learning. The takeaway is that despite the turmoil of our realities, children have an innocent way of not dwelling in the weeds of pessimism for too long. It’s definitely a tough lesson for us big people to learn when we’re constantly in a state of stress and angst.
There is no denying that COVID disruptions may have long-term effects on education, some of these to an extent that can’t even be measured yet. There is no doubt that when schools closed their doors, many connections were lost, learning got harder, effective feedback was delayed and learner anxiety escalated. However, this is even more reason to celebrate our amazing tamariki who have made every COVID sacrifice worthwhile. Our kids have shown they can be agile shape-shifters when it comes to adapting to sudden changes and we commend them for enduring these challenges. We want to congratulate our kids for bouncing back each time they were invited to return to their classrooms and then suddenly were locked out again. We want to uplift our kids for reminding us parents to slow down and take the time to hit the pause and reset buttons which needed to happen a long time ago. And we want to say malo lava le onosa’i (well done for persevering), for being real-life examples of resilience and inner strength, if they can do it, we can too.
The Pacific Digital Stories project has been so much more than the conversion of memories into animation. Children have been vulnerable sharing their thoughts and feelings, giving us pure joy when stepping into their world and discovering magic in even the darkest of times. It is so humbling to be primed by a young person on how to let go of fear and it is a stark reminder to us parents to remember we too can be vulnerable alongside our children. Thank you to our young heroes who inspire the work that we do every day.
Please meet the courageous voices behind My Lockdown Adventures:
Kia Ora! My name is Oliver Sunia Tupou and I'm 9 years old. I was born in Auckland and have spent most of my childhood in Te Kuiti, a small rural town in Waikato, New Zealand. I also spent one year living in my Dad's village of Ha'avakatolo, Tonga, which was really cool. My favourite subject at school is writing. I also love sports, especially rugby, soccer and karate. I enjoy making creations with Lego, drawing and playing Playstation. When I grow up I want to be a professional soccer player or an architect.
Solofuti Iupeli Toetu
Tālofa lava and hello! My name is Solofuti Iupeli Toetu. My family and close friends call me Futi. I am 12 years old and live in Vaitele Uta at Faleata district, with my grandparents, parents and my two brothers. I am also from the villages of Fogāsavaii, Fasitoo-tai and Sātaoa. I am the middle and sometimes the favourite child. I really love school, playing video games, rugby, soccer and going to church. I really love sharing with my friends. I also really love my food. In school, my favourite subjects are English and Science. My goal is to become a pilot or a lawyer in the future to help out and contribute to my family and especially my beautiful country of Samoa.
Malo e lelei! Ko hoku hingoa ko Hautau Steven Afu. I'm 11 years old and I live in Hala'ovave, Kolomotu'a on Tongatapu. My parents are 'Okalani and 'Oto'ota Afu and I have six siblings, named Katisa, Naw Ruz, Sione, Moana, Teau and Veisinia. My favourite subject at school is Tongan and I love playing sports, especially rugby. When I grow up I want to be a professional rugby player or a carpenter.