May 31, 2024
March 2022
Navigate Initiative

Literati Guild changes lives.

Coming from an abusive environment himself, Matt Brown is heading a powerful social change campaign to break cycles of violence in our community.

We’ve been incredibly lucky to have worked with the amazing Matt Brown from My Father’s Barbers through the Navigate Initiative unit at Christchurch Men’s Prison. Coming from an abusive environment himself, Matt is heading a powerful social change campaign to break cycles of violence in our community. 

He recently wrote She is Not Your Rehab, to encourage men to acknowledge their own childhood trauma and to take responsibility for their healing so that they can transform their pain instead of transmitting it on those around them.

But that’s not all!

Then he campaigned to print a copy of this book for every single male prisoner in New Zealand! 

Powerful stuff, huh! 

We recently secured copies for the men in the Navigate Initiative, thinking how powerful it would be to get these messages to the men we’re working with… and, although there was some excitement, there was a number of men who just didn’t seem to be interested. 

Eventually the Tū Ora themselves discovered that some of those within their Navigate Initiative community had never learned to read! 

Of course, being in prison, we couldn’t utilise audio books, so the reintegration team put their thinking caps on. But then this incredible thing happened organically….

The Tū Ora who could read took it upon themselves to teach the Tū Ora who couldn’t read! They’ve formed a beautiful grassroots reading programme which they’ve cleverly called The Literati Guild. 

“Empowerment, connection and healing are key values we use to form the Navigate Initiative strategy and approach,” Pathway Reintegration Manager Anaru Baynes says. 

It’s beautiful to see an example of that in action, as the Tū Ora are empowered to find solutions to solve problems and give back to their community.

Names have been changed.

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