Moving on and accepting what is, is no easy feat. That is why taking the time off work to re-group and re-focus was necessary for Lavenia Kafoa.

As we talked in her living room, Lavenia had a kind of zen about her. An overwhelming sense of calmness and strength filled the room. Having spent the better part of the last two weeks coming to terms with some changes in her life recently.

With her children, Lavenia has been grateful for any support from the family. Working full-time doing night shifts as a security officer on the trains, Lavenia finds comfort in the support Whanau Ora Navigator – Moana Misa offers her through Whanau Ora. Referred on by a friend, Lavenia was first put in contact with Moana in June 2018.

“At the time (of meeting Moana) I was not in a good place financially and emotionally. I would share with Moana all the time, my burdens and my pain. She made me feel better when she shared her own struggles with me”

Lavenia explains

Together with Moana, they worked on goals to help Lavenia and the family towards complete independence. To begin with they made a goal to help support her twenty-one-year-old daughter get her driver’s licence. Other goals included starting a savings plan and getting into the habit of saving regardless of how little it was.

“In that time of need, Moana helped me work through making plans around getting into a better place financially”

says Lavenia

“Whanau Ora has helped me with car repairs and helped with the small things. Something as little as purchasing household items………………………… this helped me think of my situation and what help means. I have used this to help me move release all my burdens from before”

She adds

Lavenia is the seventh child of eleven. All of whom were born and raised in Tonga. After completing high school, she migrated to New Zealand to join her older siblings in search of a better life.

“Home is where church begins. You happy at home, only then can you truly be happy ……… don’t disrespect your parents never mind what’s happening in yourself”

In her spare time, Lavenia enjoys time to herself listening to music to unwind and dwell on fond memories of swimming in the warm sea back home in Tonga.

“Don’t disrespect your parents no matter what’s happening between them”

Lavenia advises

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