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The purpose of Talavou Village YOSS is to enhance the health, development, and wellbeing of young people.

The purpose of Talavou Village YOSS is to enhance the health, development, and wellbeing of young people.



YOSS: Free healthcare service breaks down financial barrier for South Auckland Pacific youth

The new service is part of a 'village' created by youth, for youth

Te Ahikaa Trotman, Te Rito journalism cadet
26 October 2023, 3:58pm
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A free health initiative will help South Auckland Pacific youth overcome barriers to accessing medical care.

The Talavou Village Youth One Stop Shop (YOSS) - Health 4 U is launching in Wiri, South Auckland on Saturday, and will be open from 12pm to 2.30 pm from Monday to Friday.

James Suaesi is one of the Lead Youth activators for Village Collective, which is a company that actively supports the YOSS.

“The whole purpose of the YOSS is that, it is the understanding that our Pacific young people are not using the health systems and so, giving them the opportunity to have those free health systems."

Suasei says the YOSS will provide free health and well-being care.

Suaesi believes that finance is one of the main reasons our youth aren’t utilising these facilities.

“Most of them (health services) you have to pay to use certain services, and also there’s a common difficulty when it comes to financial problems, not having enough money to even use these services or not even being aware of these kinds of services and not even looking into it even more.

”Other barriers include not knowing where to go to access care, fear of embarrassment, judgment, lack of youth-friendly practices, lack of health literacy, lack of trust in the health and social system and loss of confidentiality."

Suaesi says the YOSS has a total of six health professionals on board. He also says it will provide free confidential health and wellbeing services that are very youth-driven.

The Talavou Village is a collaborative facility, with many young Pacific people helping out.

“This provides housing, improving skills and confidence such as creativity, arts, employment, recreation, education, learning support, entrepreneurship, spirituality, community development, and leadership development all in one place instead of one organisation providing everything.”

Suaesi says this is to make sure that the Talavou Village is fit for its use.

“By involving young people, it will keep these services relevant and creative.”

The Talavou village is made up of three key components: the Talavou Village leadership group, the Youth Hub, and the YOSS.

“It’s an opportunity to collaborate and partner with many organisations contributing what they are good at and deliver as a whole,” Suaesi says.

General manager Riki Nofoâ'akifolau says: “We want to make our services more accessible.

“We want to move away from the Youth Advisory model that many organisations are familiar with, as it has its limitations in tapping into the full potential of what young people can offer to Village Collective and Talavou Village.

“We want Talavou Village YOSS and the Youth Hub to be a place and space where young people can feel like it’s theirs because they created it and tell their circle of networks about it,” Nofoâ'akifolau says.

Eddie Matagi has participated in the Talavou Village Leadership Group since early 2022 and is a Youth Activator.

“I believe Talavou Village Leadership Group can impact South Auckland immensely in a positive way through the service we are helping to design and provide.”