Leu | Māngere

“Growing up, my family was so poor, living in South Auckland, and the conditions at the time were really bad.  My dad just recently passed away, and so it was just my mum raising me and my two sisters on her own, but she wasn’t working. 

She was living on a benefit, but at the time I didn’t even know that we were poor, because of the experiences that my mum gave to us, like how positive she was around us, and always trying to put food on the table. I think growing up, she planted a seed not only in myself, but in my sisters, and I think that’s why we’re trying to work so hard, just to give back to her, to give back everything that she did for us. To be honest, it hasn’t been really easy, but I think that’s why I’m trying to study, and to get a better job, to give her a better life, but it’s not only my mum. It’s my family, always loving and supporting us throughout our journey.  Sorry, my voice is cracking. I feel like that bad experience growing up, it turned into something, because even though we were going through that, we still had loving and supporting people around us.

I recently graduated last year, so I’m trying to look for a job, but I’m also volunteering at Pasefika events, just to give back to my community. I would actually say that my mum is a really big role model. She’s also one of my biggest motivations to work hard. She teaches me to never give up even if things get hard. She also teaches us discipline, but mostly to put God first in everything that we do, yeah. 

I love you, Mum and I appreciate everything you do, and hope one day when I do get rich, your pockets are going to be full!”

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