Laulotaha - About Us
To have Pacific children achieve excellence in all NCEA subjects.
The Laulotaha Mentoring programme was founded in 2008 by Valeti Finau and the Education Task Group of the Wellington Tongan Methodist Congregation. We have witnessed firsthand Pacific children’s struggle in reaching their goals in education because extra guidance was not given or because there was limited support from parents. The Laulotaha Mentoring programme aims to address these issues by creating a positive environment that supports Pacific children and their families throughout their education.
In 2012 Laulotaha was adopted by the Wellington Methodist Parish and fell within the Wellington Methodist Parish Strategy in Youth and Education and also the Vahefonua Tonga Mission. It is also one of the outcomes of several Educational Expo and Roadshows delivered by the Vahefonua. It is now delivered in many other areas and other denominations and faith communities. Consequently, through the partnership and leadership of Lifewise in which the national office for Laulotaha is based, Valeti Finau has been designated to play the national role of Director for Laulotaha.
Laulotaha is Tongan for excellence. The suffix ‘taha’ means ‘number one’. It is a goal that we encourage our Mentee’s to work towards
Laulotaha is a one-to-one mentoring programme that is delivered by educated professional volunteers within a family, cultural and church context. Prior to each session a mentee’s area of need are matched to a Mentor’s strength. The chosen mentor then helps the mentee’s with the subject they are struggling in, as well as mentor and guide them through their chosen career path. The great thing about Laulotaha is that the one to one mentoring session allows the student to go at their ‘own pace’ and to spend more time in an area that they need help in.
Parents are strongly encouraged to attend and to sit alongside their child during mentoring sessions. It is very important that parents are not ignorant about where their child is, on an academic level. We know that children do well when education is a priority in their families, as the foundation of a child’s success is built from the support of their parents. To us, successful education is the combined efforts of the students, families and the community.
The journey towards achieving excellence is not an easy road. We have made it our priority to ensure that we are helping our Pacific students early in education, before the alarm bells go off. The Laulotaha Mentoring Programme caters for Year 1 to Year 13 students and runs every second and fourth Saturday of the month during school term.