For Whaea Manu, caring for children and instilling in them tikanga and kawa have been lifelong passions. After raising her son and mokopuna, she went on to become a te reo tutor and worked at her local kōhanga reo for over 20 years. Unfortunately, her health began affecting her mahi, causing her to step down from the position she had been so committed to. The impact of this change was huge and Whaea Manu felt isolated and despondent.
Being away from her colleagues at the kōhanga and in particular all her mokopuna, whom she loved so much was tough but Whaea Manu knew she needed to focus on her health and get well before she could think about returning to mahi.
My son, partner and mokopuna all have supported me by encouraging me to stay positive, and helping around the house", explains Whaea Manu.
Having a caring whānau helped a great deal and they encouraged her to stay strong and gave her much of the awhi she needed.
But working out how to move forward was what Whaea Manu needed support with. This is where the team from Te Arawa Whānau Ora came in to support.
Together with her paeārahi, Whaea Manu developed a plan that revolved around her key goals, which is to exercise and eat right, while ensuring her medical needs were kept a priority. Another dream of Whaea Manu's was to create her own māra kai so that she could grow kai that would help her become strong and healthy.
Over a period of six months Whaea Manu has been able to one by one achieve her goals. She now is the proud owner of a beautiful māra kai and is delighted to be able to grow her own food. She continues to walk every day and has a nutritionist at the hospital who ensures that her diet is balanced.
I just want as much time with my whānau as possible, each day for me is a celebration and with the support of Te Arawa Whānau Ora life is so much better."