Over the past few months, our Digifale team have been fortunate to deliver Digifale to two community groups in Poneke, Wellington. With both groups having completed their Digifale journey, we reflect on their Digifale journey and our learnings so far.

The Wesley Tongan Methodist Church started their Digifale journey on the last Sunday of May, the ‘family month’ in the Tongan calendar. With 25 elders and adults involved in the programme, their youth members eagerly volunteered to help them navigate their digifale journey. The digifale navigators are an important asset to the programme as they are at the forefront facilitating, leading and teaching our the participants. It was awesome to see the Wesley youth flourish in their role while strengthening their relationships with the elderly members of their church.

Lead navigator Lopini Meafo’ou shared her reflections following their last session stating “I feel sad because it was cool seeing the elders enjoy all the sessions that we had. One lesson I’ve taken from the programme is to be patient with our elders, cater to what they need and want, and learn how to say yes.” We hope for the participants to continue their learnings after their last Digifale session, so we were glad to hear Pulupaki Pouvalu say “Alot of our elders have learnt things that they have taken away with them. We’ve been getting updates from their kids at home that they are on their phones learning the lessons back home.”

Upon completion of Wesley’s Digifale sessions, we were honoured to attend their wholesome graduation celebration to see the fruits of their hardwork, learning how to navigate a whole new world, the digital world! We are not only proud of the Wesley Tongan participants but also their youth navigators for their leadership and heart for this work. Malo ‘aupito Wesley Church!

Digifale was also delivered in the vibrant suburb of Porirua with Nga Uri o Whiti Te Ra Mai Le Moana Trust (NUOWTR) leading the programme for the mamas and papas in their community. With NUOWTR being the first community organisation Digifale has partnered with, we were excited to hear of their experiences and insights. We met with their lead navigator and chief executive of NUOWTR, Saviiey Saviour to hear some of her thoughts.

“The whole journey in itself has been amazing. It made me happy seeing the elderly being happy in a space and even though the main target of this programme was around digital literacy and educating our elders how to access online apps, I also feel like it’s another way of bridging that gap of wellbeing for them outside of the digital side.”

From both cohorts, we are reminded of the purpose of this intergenerational initiative, Digifale. That is for Pacific communities to navigate digital spaces so they can use these skills to access online services to make informed choices about their health and wellbeing. The long-lasting influence the Digifale programme has on the participants, churches and communities we work with highlights the holistic concept of wellbeing for our Pacific peoples. Their aspirations to continue their digital learnings and improve their overall wellbeing is a testament to the service of both groups to their community. Our Digifale team were privileged to witness their desires and genuine willingness to support their Digifale participants on their journeys.

We want to thank everyone involved from both Wesley Church and Nga Uri o Whiti Te Ra Mai Le Moana Trust for dedicating their time and talents over the past few months.

Our Digifale team is looking forward to working alongside our future cohorts in the upper North Island. Please follow our Digifale socials to keep updated with the exciting journeys to come.