In this section we discuss developing the whole person holistically, ie; addressing the developmental needs of the whole person collectively rather than separately. Various cultures and communities express that physical, emotional, intellectual, social and spiritual dimensions are aspects of holistic development. For resilience and wellbeing to grow, all of these elements need to be addressed. For example, when a young person gets a job, this can meet not just the physical need for money to buy food, pay rent etc but it can also provide connections, relationships, self esteem, a sense of belonging and even spiritual identity. Schools for example are often under pressure to focus heavily on academic achievement (the intellectual aspect), while this is obviously important, if focused on exclusively it risks impeding the development of young people in all other areas essential to their wellbeing. The models below provide useful frameworks in helping us to understand the concept of developing the whole person.
It is a little idyllic but it communicates a picture of a connected village-like community. They say it takes a village to raise a child, therefore developing community connections is a vital part of a healthy community. The various parts of a community are in a natural relationship with each other. The WINZ office, the schoolm the sports club, the marae, the church are all in relationship with one another and of course the various people of a community are in a natural relationship with each other. The sports coach, the teacher, the mum, the neighbour, the friend, the elderly at home down the road etc. Healthy commuities are made up of a weave of 'invisible threads' - these threads are relationships and lives - a web of interconnected and authentic relationships. Communities are places of belonging and identity - hence the imagery of the woven whariki mat underneath the image as referred to by George Iho in his korero on page 8 of the PYDA Framework.
Inside every community is the capacity to raise its own young people, to create the environment rich with support for the child to grow into an adult. Young poeple can be supported in isolation from the community they grow up in but it is not the ideal approach. They need to be included and engage in the larger social environment of; family/whanau, peers, school/training/employment and community. They need opportunities to use their assets, strengths, and skills by participating in and taking leadership of valued community activities. Communities can create supportive and enriching environments for all young people that will lead to positive outcomes as well as reducing negative outcomes. It is recognised that there is a need to blend universal approaches that focus on all young people with approaches that target young people facing extra challenges.
Often life can easily tend to be full of linear relationships. Wiremu may know John and Ariana, but do John and Ariana know each other? Making circles or networks of relationships is a community key outcome. The more relationships that are woven, the more resilient the community can be. This is particularly noticeable during times of grief and disaster or challenge and aspiration. No one need stand alone, less people fall through gaps, bitterness can be worked through together, families can be caught in a net of care.