26 November, 2018

Tesha is a single mother of her 15-year-old daughter living in Kaitaia. Tesha is a welfare beneficiary and in the past has found herself stuck within a cycle of sadness and anger. “Life before Mahi Tahi was quite hard and confusing for me.  I was struggling to bring up my young daughter and was working very hard to get nowhere.”

In partnership with ADRA, Kaitaia SDA church launched the Mahi Tahi programme, an initiative aimed at engaging welfare beneficiaries in voluntary community work. This is done by finding different needs in the community and arranging transport, work, and the necessary training and equipment.

For Tesha, this meant that every Wednesday she would volunteer her time helping other families with tasks such as gardening, lawn mowing, and home improvements. Tesha has found structure in engaging with community work while also developing different skills and positive work habits.

Mahi Tahi also provides other formal training in leadership through mentorship and building positive values. The programmes aim is to help people like Tesha by shifting their focus from their struggles to the needs of others in their community and encouraging positive self-worth.

Since Mahi Tahi, Tesha has developed a timeframe and set out tasks to run her own tourism business venture with her family. Tesha is appreciative of the opportunity to “give back to people without expecting anything in return” and is now feeling positive “[I’m] more settled and focused on my life goals.”

Learn more about the different Community Transformation Partnerships ADRA has with churches throughout communities in New Zealand here.
*Image has been changed to protect identity.

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