Sefatu family paying it forward

Fri 12 Jan 2018

Due to a series of events, both Alma and Etuate were out of work throughout the Christmas period of 2016. Adobe SparkThis is undoubtedly one of the busiest most high demanding times of year. It was a difficult and stressful time for the family as they tried looking for solutions to feed, clothe, entertain, and prepare their 5 children for school.

Alma and Etuate were first introduced to Pacific Homecare through Whanau Ora.

Due to a series of events both, Alma and Etuate were out of work throughout the Christmas period of 2016. This is undoubtedly one of the busiest most high demanding times of year. It was a difficult and stressful time for the family as they tried looking for solutions to feed, clothe, entertain, and prepare their 5 children for school.

Getting Work and Income payments was a lengthy process. There was so much that needed doing before any payments were made and the family needed the funds urgently for back to school shopping requirements.

They also approached Salvation Army for assistance and were helped with food donations but also needed help with preparations for school which they (Salvation Army) do not normally assist with.

Both Salvation Army and Work and Income were very helpful however, what the family needed at the time went beyond what they could offer.

“It was the start of school and we needed assistance urgently to get the kids school stuff”.

Alma who is of Maori decent was born and raised in Gisborne as the third youngest of seven girls. An avid sportsperson, some of Alma’s favorite memories were as a young girl playing Netball, Rugby League, Touch Rugby, and Athletics. She moved to Auckland in 1998 as a teenager following her friends and now calls Auckland home.

Rugby fan Etuate is from Foailuga, Savaii in Samoa. He moved to New Zealand in 1999. His favorite child hood memories were as a Rugby player. Etuate settled in Auckland when he came to New Zealand and it has been home ever since.

In 2001 Alma & Etuate married and together they had five children, two girls and three boys who answer to the names Gloryan, Nakeisha, Edward, Leighton, and Jeremiah.

Alma heard from a friend that Pacific Homecare (PHC) had a program (Whanau Ora) that could help families with certain needs.

Not expecting anything to come from it, Alma popped in to the PHC office to fill out a Whanau Ora application form.

A month later their coordinator Emmily Samuel made contact and things moved from there.

“The whole process with Whanau Ora has been really easy and even though the wait was one month, it was well worth the wait.” Says Alma.

A turn of events occurred in early in 2017 when both Alma and Etuate were fortunate enough to secure permanent full-time work.

This has made things a lot easier for the couple and their family.

They want to pay it forward by using their experience to help other family members that are in similar situations by advocating for them and advising who to go to for support.

“Some of these families are only left with $20 for the week after paying their bills.!” Alma says

Alma says “Whanau Ora with PHC has been an easy process. Easy application process, good turnaround and the wait is worthwhile. They also help with any urgent payment requests”.

One of the key result areas that the family have picked up on is, goals setting.

Setting goals was a concept introduced to the family through Whanau Ora that was well received. The family worked hard on the goals set in the first 6 months since joining Whanau Ora.

Their goals at the time were:
– Save money
– Keep older son’s attendance at school up

“We’ve agreed as a family to work towards our goals together and we achieved it together!”

Our next set of goals are:
– Continue saving money
– Lose weight (5KGs each)

“I like how Whanau Ora helps families how they need help and not dictate how to help, they really listen to our needs and react accordingly.” Alma

Through their savings plan Alma and Etuate were able to enjoy their first holiday together in Cambridge

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