Jean continued her fulltime study requirements towards the Diploma in Whānau Ora while on lockdown, as well as taking on the responsibility of her four children’s schooling. However, combined with their daily routines, she struggled to keep on top of the washing.
“I’d be up at night handwashing our laundry in the bathroom and having to really squeeze out the water so they could dry properly. After a week it took a toll on me.”
She searched online for other options, including purchasing a cheap second-hand washing machine, but lockdown restrictions made delivery an issue. Eventually she was directed to Te Arawa Whānau Ora, who helped her apply for a Whānau Direct grant.
“The ladies I spoke to were very helpful. Jasmine asked some simple questions and went from there, keeping me informed throughout the process.”
Three days later a brand new washing machine was delivered to Jean’s home.
“I rang Jasmine to personally thank her because I was overwhelmed – I still am. COVID-19 on its own is huge but then you’ve got your own situations to deal with.”
Tragically, Jean had to bury her newborn mokopuna while the country was on lockdown. Her grandson breathed for 20 minutes, before he sadly passed away. With marae closed and whānau confined to their bubbles, Jean and a few of her siblings were the only people present at the burial.
“I’ve just had to carry on. Having no washing machine wasn’t a big deal in the scheme of things but it was very challenging, hence why I was so grateful when I received it. I just cried. When there’s a service out there that offers support when you’re in need, it really helps.”
“I feel blessed now to be doing the Diploma in Whānau Ora because what was offered to me, I can do the same. I was blessed in so many ways – not just by receiving the machine. The tohu I’m doing has encouraged me and given me confidence to carry on.”