One Story of Many

Pregnant at 13... Now wanting to invest in her community

I don’t know what I’d do without [Te Whakaora]. They have saved three generations – my parents, us and our kids. I always thought life would be shit. I never thought I’d have this life with my partner that I have now. Now I want to get a diploma in social work [to help our community]

"Growing up I had a 'Once Were Warriors' life. Mum and Dad were very hard on me. I sniffed glue from age 10 and slept in the McDonalds car park because I didn't want to go home to the violence I was seeing. I had my first baby at 14 to a gang member ... Being on drugs got me in trouble with the cops. I spent time in the cells and built up a huge criminal record. I was a P addict. A mess. Me and my partner and our kids were living in sheds. I was miserable, it felt like I was in jail. For eight years me and my partner were just yelling at each other. We tried counseling and courses and learned a lot but it didn't make us the happy family we strived for. [Then] I saw the change in my father and the change in his relationship with mum after they attended the Emotional Healing course...

I found it hard to believe. I thought man, something's going on down there at Te Whakaora. It's a miracle. I don't know what I would do if I had not [found Te Whakaora]. The changes in my family are huge. Me and my partner have come a long way, we can talk and have an actual conversation. I put myself into a business course and my partner got a job. Man we're getting somewhere! We used to argue in the middle of the road and 80% of the time we'd get arrested. Now we still have our arguments but they're clean, we know how to tackle it."

YOUNG MOTHER OF THREE