march 2016: For Sherina, mum to 5 young tamariki, that big step was moving to Rotorua but the small incremental step was developing her Whānau Plan.
"I had overcome so many challenges over the years but felt the temptations that continued to surround us were still too close. So moving to Rotorua felt like the right decision. It meant that I could give myself and my tamariki the opportunity to connect with my father's side of the whānau and build and strengthen these relationships."
As hard as the move was, Sherina was making ends meet. After a year of being in the rohe she began to see the rewards she had hoped for, her children were thriving and happy. Unexpectedly, a challenge to the family's stability arose. The unit she was living in was to be demolished and she was served with a 90-day eviction notice.
"I've been doing my best to provide for my tamariki and we have achieved so much, it's my children that give me the strength and it's because of them that I am learning to believe in myself. But this hurdle really stressed me out, and I knew I needed help and I needed it fast", explains Sherina.
An auntie put Sherina in touch with Te Arawa Whānau Ora through Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Pikao. Together with her paeārahi, a trained navigator, Sherina was able to create a list of goals, a time frame and importantly key actions to achieve these goals.
"Making my Whānau Plan was such a new experience. But to have all my goals laid out on that piece of paper as well as the actions I needed to take, made me feel like I really could achieve them."
After some reflection, Sherina developed an easy to follow, detailed plan of where she wanted to be short and long term.
"I realised that it wasn't just finding accommodation that we needed, although that was the most pressing issue. After some thought I realised that I wanted to gain my license and look at pursuing a career in social services."
With the support of Te Arawa Whānau Ora Sherina was able to take control of her situation use her Whānau Plan and make positive change in her lives and in the lives of her beloved children.
"My dreams for my whānau are for us to become financially independent and not reliant on government assistance. I've already begun my journey to becoming a SWIS (Social Worker in School) and have been accepted on the Certificate in Social Work (Biculturalism in Practise) with Te Wānanga o Aotearoa and have my first noho this weekend. I passed my learners license at the end of last year and feel like my journey to independence has begun, eventually I will be legally able to transport them to school events, education/training institutes which will enhance my future employment opportunities, rather than relying on others. Thank you so much for your awhi and tautoko!"
Why Te Arawa Whānau Ora Works
Te Arawa Whānau Ora has been successful because it ensures whānau are able to determine their own goals and are given positive support to achieve them. Te Arawa Whānau Ora will work with groups, whānau and individuals to support them to become successful.
Te Arawa Whānau Ora works because it puts whānau in the driver’s seat, they define their own goals and make their own decisions. Te Arawa Whānau Ora has helped over 1500 individual whānau members over the last year. If you would like to know more please contact us.