October 2016: For Amanda and her three young children, that journey began after she found the power to leave a violent 7-year relationship and return home to New Zealand.
“I wanted better for my children, I wanted a place to keep them safe, so came home to start again, but it was so much harder than I expected”, explains 28 year old Amanda, who looked to find stability in a small rural community.
Things began to unravel, living far from the nearest town the family struggled to pay their bills, and there was little left over for essentials.
“We couldn’t register our car until we got two tyres but we just couldn’t afford to. The kids began missing school because we couldn’t even drive the 15kms it takes to drop them off at their bus stop.”
Unable to get the children to settled into their new school, the family became overly stressed and Amanda began to worry that it was hurting their education.
The kids were missing school and I was worried that they would fall behind. We needed help and we needed that help to happen sooner rather then later.”
The family was put in touch with their local Whānau Ora provider and worked with a navigator who helped them develop a plan to get themselves sorted.
Over time Amanda and her whānau worked with their navigator. Maintaining a violence free life was critical and Amanda completed a domestic violence education programme for women and then went on to finish two parenting programmes. Amanda was also able to identify and treat historical medical issues and now receives regular health checks.
“It was like, they knew just what I needed, help finding a GP, support to be the best Mum I can be and a way to understand and end the cycle of violence I had once accepted.”
Being in this positive frame of mind enabled Amanda to engage in te ao Māori through iwi, hapū and whānau hui with her two oldest children attended a kapa haka programme at primary school.
The support we got helped our family get over a hurdle and even better it gave us the skills we will need to get over the next bump in the road when it comes. It gave us faith in ourselves. We will be forever thankful for this small token of hope.”