2 July, 2019

Belinda (26) and her sister Jane (18) are working quickly to hand out food to an ever growing crowd that has arrived for a community fun day in Clendon. Young children, parents, families and older people are gathered around the table where the two sisters are greeting each one and serving them with free food and a smile. Although it has only been 10 weeks, it is hard to remember them as the once shy and quiet sisters who arrived to participate in their first Solid Community session.

Solid Community is a 10 week course run in partnership with ADRA and PAPSDA Church that provides free physical training sessions to the South Auckland community it is based in. These physical training sessions are followed by a life skills session aimed to build confidence and self-worth as well as addressing other important life skills such as budgeting, anger and stress management and community service.

Before attending, Belinda felt lost and was struggling to move past a negative relationship in her life. Jane had low confidence and was being bullied at school and felt unable to ask for help. Through learning about positive coping mechanisms as well as having a network of new friends and positive influences in their lives, both Belinda and Jane grew in their self-confidence.

Belinda is now focused on getting a job and feels both determined and motivated about new changes and opportunities life has for her. She is also sharing the skills she has learnt with others new to the Solid Community initiative. Without this opportunity Belinda shared that she may still feel lost in life, but instead she feels proud of herself and the life she leads.

Jane now has greater confidence to speak to teachers about her bullying, to ask for help and to stand up for herself as well as new friends who support and care for her. Jane shared with us “My life is better now because of coming to SOLID, I have more friends who stick up for me and I stick up for them as well. I have a bit more confidence and talk more about my problems. I am coping with the bullying better now because of the SOLID ministry. I ignore the bullying more or move away, it doesn’t affect me as much now as it used to.”

Through your support, Belinda and Jane have been able to overcome difficult challenges in their lives. They have also grown into confident and open young people who are now using what they have learnt to serve others in their community.

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