'If we don't initiate the young, they will burn down the village just to feel the heat.’

The shift from childhood to adulthood has always been marked by a rite of passage, which represents entry to the adult world and the rights that go with it. This new set of rights is also accompanied by a responsibility to serve and contribute to the community.

For over fifteen years, teenagers from all over New Zealand have been initiated into adulthood during rites of passage programs Tracks & Tides in Golden Bay. When a large flock of teenagers was present in Tui Community, the late Jim Horton, who had been involved in men's work for years, felt inspired to start working with boys. Two years later his partner Suzi Jessie became co-founder of Tides, the program for girls.

For young people, a rite of passage will help you move beyond ‘childhood’, build self-confidence, uncover your uniqueness and discover your strengths, qualities, and potential in a new way. Women/Men of all ages will encourage you to trust your intuition, find your voice and make strong choices. From here you will stand more confidently in the world on your own two feet ensuring a lot of fun along the way.

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If men and women can begin to share their stories with their sons and daughters …. and if we can honour these stories within our society …., we’ll be taking a significant step forward in guiding our young people successfully into adulthood.

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Celia Lashlie


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