Published on 24th November 2011
A new television series with a strong VSA connection begins on Maori Television at 7pm on Sunday 27 November.
Kia Ora Molweni features six senior students from kura kaupapa Maori who were each given a video camera and sent off on a three-week exchange to South Africa in September last year. While they were there, the students spent time with two long-time VSA partner organisations in East London – Imvomvo and Aspire.
The six-part series features former VSA UniVol Sam McLachlan, as well as Thoko Mlonyeni, the awe-inspiring manager of Imvomvo.
According to the producer, George Andrews, VSA was integral to the programme’s success. The students went to East London in the first place because of VSA’s long involvement there.
“You don’t just send a group of school students off to South Africa unless you’re sure they will be safe. VSA’s long connection with East London meant we felt confident about sending them there,” he says.
Returned volunteer and recently elected VSA Council member Shona Jennings was particularly important when it came to deciding what the students should do while they were in South Africa.
“She inspired some of the key sequences. She told us there were three things the students had to do – go to a game park, go into the countryside, and go to Nelson Mandela’s birthplace. They did all three.”
* Kia Ora Molweni runs at 7pm on Maori Television from 27 November 2011 to 1 January 2012.