On Wednesday, 18 October 2023, Geraldine Anne McCarthy and Randolph Hollingsworth of the Education Action Hub met with Mindanao Young Leaders Programme researcher, Dennis John "Barbs" Barimbao, of the Family Planning Organization of the Philippines-Davao. The Mindanao Young Leaders programme is part of a UnionAID initiative funded by MFAT and delivered in partnership with a local Filipino organisation and Victoria University of Wellington, and it is supported by Aotearoa New Zealand's International Development Cooperation program. The young leaders are at the forefront of social justice issues and leading important projects in their communities. At the time of the interview, Barbs was studying a 12-week Sustainable Development Course Programme at VIC.
The hui allowed for Anne and Randolph to go into greater detail about The Circular article that had attracted Barbs' attention: "Teen Pregnancy, Success in Secondary School, and Later Life Opportunities" (https://www.ncwnz.org.nz/teen_pregnancy_success_in_school). Barbs was particularly interested in the different cultural responses to teen pregnancy over time here in New Zealand, and also the different experiences that Pākehā and Māori might encounter. Barbs was also interested in exploring the openness expressed socially about discussing teen pregnancy, as it was a taboo subject in the Philippines with very little recognition or government funding.
The state schools' Teen Parent Units, though not enough offered here in New Zealand, were of great interest to him. Randolph and Anne explored the likely socio-economic contexts in New Zealand for teen pregnancy, as over 50% Māori women who are unemployed solo parenting in temporary, multi-generational housing, coping with the impact of adolescent peer pressures. Alongside Teen Parent units, the effectiveness of nurse advisors in schools and communities like the Taupo case in O’Connor (2020) were recommended as very helpful for contraceptive advice and ongoing care. See for more detail, O’Connor, T. (2020). "Providing much-needed health services in central New Zealand: The high rate of teen pregnancies and the lack of sexual health services in their area prompted a group of Taupo residents to take matters into their own hands and establish a local service." Kai Tiaki: Nursing New Zealand, Vol. 26, Issue 2.
In addition, Randolph and Anne talked about the current effort by the Education Action Hub to push for compulsory curriculum on consent education. Barbs agreed to keep in touch with NCWNZ as he continued his research upon his return to his home in the Philippines.