This weekend's KAHA National Queer Youth Hui in Wellington is almost at capacity with nearly 140 queer young people from all over the country registered to participate. "Registrations began slowly in December as people focused on the holidays, but now the registration forms just keep on coming. We have had to beef up preparations to make sure we can cope with all the young people that will be attending" says Elizabeth Kerekere, Out There! Kaimahi, Takatāpui Taiohi, and organiser of the event. The last KAHA Queer Youth Hui organised by the Out There! LGBT youth support network took place in January 2007 and was attended by seventy young people from eleven different queer youth groups and high school groups from across New Zealand. Recently released findings of the Youth 2007 Study confirm that one in twelve high school aged young people do not describe themselves as heterosexual. This figure is similar to the findings of the earlier Youth 2000 study. "Same sex attraction is a normal and colourful part of our community and is here to stay. Schools and families need to openly support their same-sex-attracted students and children so they feel worthwhile, accepted and included," explains Kerekere. "This hui is about encouraging young leaders to take a stand against homophobia, transphobia and prejudice in schools and in our community." KAHA will begin with a training day for youth workers who work with queer young people, known as queer youth workers, about safe and effective support for queer youth. The session will be facilitated by the National Youth Workers Network Aotearoa which recently produced the first Youth Work Code of Ethics for New Zealand. KAHA is a three-day event taking place at Wellington's Tapu Te Ranga Marae this weekend, 23 -25 January 2009. The cost for queer youth is $25 and sponsorship and transport opportunities are available. More information can be found on the Out There website, linked below.
Credit: GayNZ.com Daily News Staff
First published: Wednesday, 21st January 2009 - 9:28pm
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