Community: The MALOSI Project – Movement for Action and Law to Overcome Social Injustice

The university is filled with amazing clubs and communities for everyone. This includes groups that focus on empowering others, such as The MALOSI Project. Emelia Masari had the privilege of talking to Sinai Tupou-Paunga, from The MALOSI project at Law School, who has shed some light on the work they do.

What is the MALOSI project?

The MALOSI Project is a Pacific Island Law student based organisation at the University of Auckland.  The objective of this project is to empower Pacific Islanders in our wider community. There are three branches to MALOSI that enforce this which are:

(1) School Workshops for Year 11 to Year 13 Pacific Island students,

(2) Community Workshops for families to educate them on their legal rights and

(3) A blog-www.themalosiproject.com- that publishes articles which identify legal issues impacting Pacific Islanders.

What does the world ‘malosi’ mean?

In the Samoan language, the word ‘malosi’ translates to the English words ‘strong’ or ‘strength’.

In a society where Pacific peoples face great inequalities across all socioeconomic, education, health and housing indicators – the need to promote ‘malosi/strength’ in Pacific communities is greater than ever. In addressing this great need, it is undeniable that many of the laws and policy actions in place create and maintain the many inequalities which disadvantage Pacific peoples.

It is also undeniable that a tertiary level degree, in particular a Bachelor of Laws degree, not only allows University students to understand these unjust laws and policies, but allows for them to gain opportunities to overcome these injustices in the future.

Therefore, the purpose of ‘The MALOSI Project’ is to enable University of Auckland law students to be a part of the Movement for Action and Law to Overcome Social Injustice to strengthen Pacific communities in Aotearoa New Zealand.

What are some of the things you have done?

Last year we visited six schools in South Auckland including Tangaroa College, Wesley College, Mangere College, Manurewa High School, Otahuhu College and Papatoetoe High School. At all of these workshops, our members were able to talk to year 11 to year 13 Pasifika students about their journey to law school, and teach them about the significance of Pacific representation in the law. Having university students talk to high school students provided a sense of hope. As the high school students are able to see themselves in our shoes, believing they can achieve higher goals becomes realistic for them.

You mentioned you had a blog, what is it about?

Our blog- www.themalosiproject.com- has published 10 articles related to pacific identity, voting, imprisonment of Pacific Islanders and the housing crisis. The importance of this branch is to reach a wider and younger audience by also sharing these article on social media.

How should we get in touch if we’re interested in learning more?

If you are interested in learning more about the MALOSI Project please contact us (Amelia Mateni, Ryan Mcallister and Sinai Tupou) through our facebook page “The MALOSI Project” and remember to like it while you’re there!

Malo aupito.