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Storytelling through poetry


17 June 2018


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Kat studying for a Bachelor of Health Science majoring in Nursing at the Auckland University of Technology

Meet Aotearoa Aho also known as “Kat”, another participant in the SouthSeas Healthcare MyStory initiative, talking about how poetry has shaped her life and helped break down barriers that she was facing at school.

“I joined the MyStory initiative through word of mouth. I was curious about the programme but I was also interested in one thing; to tell my story, which is something very personal to me. I needed to know how to tell it in a way where I could get a response that wasn’t so negative.”

Growing up differently, Kat was susceptible to discrimination and bullying at school and turned to poetry as a source of comfort.

“I found comfort in writing and reciting poetry. Poems helped me to express what I truly feel.”

“I write poems based on my feelings and experiences. I went through some challenging times at De La Salle College, which is an all-boys school, and in response to those challenges I poured my thoughts out on paper as to how I was treated and how I could move forward from all those challenging experiences.”

The MyStory initiative helped Kat to communicate openly.

“MyStory provides us the platform for people to hear what we are going through in life.”

“MyStory helped me understand people are different and to realise that everyone has their own story to tell. I feel like MyStory has opened me up more and given me a broad spectrum on how to express what I truly want to say, in a way that will not cause concern or confrontation.”

“The programme itself is very effective. It helps shape the way we communicate. It also teaches us how to listen and understand other people in a respectful manner, and not be so quick to make early judgment.”

”MyStory has enabled me to be a storyteller and a listener,” says Kat.

“Poem is my way of telling my story and my MyStory experience has been positive and self-rewarding for me. It has taught me that my words matter.”

Kat’s advice to other young people is that they should not tell their story just so they can fit in.

“You really need to be part of the programme to understand.”

“By going through the MyStory programme, I have learned so much and through poetry I am able to express my thoughts and feelings so people can understand me better. That is my way of communication; through poetry.”

“When I started writing these poems, a teacher at De La Salle asked if myself and two of my closest friends could recite our poems at an event, so other students could listen and hopefully understand us. That teacher acknowledged our voice and she believed that our poems had a strong message that would hopefully inspire others.”

“I still pour my thoughts out through poetry and I acknowledge those who have made MyStory possible to ensure that my voice matters.”

Kat is currently studying a Bachelor of Health Science majoring in Nursing at the Auckland University of Technology and a big support of the MyStory initiative.

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