The Pasifika Medical Association (PMA) through Pasifika Futures – the Whānau Ora commissioning agency injected an additional $700,000 to their partners who worked with community Foodbanks, churches and school hubs to provide welfare and education support for Pacific families struggling during the most recent Covid-19 lockdown period.
The country went into lockdown for a week from Sunday 28 February to Saturday 6 March – Auckland at Alert Level 3 and the rest of the country at Alert Level 2 – after a cluster of community cases in Auckland tested positive for Covid-19.
Pasifika Futures supported seven food hubs, three church hubs and three school hubs to provide packages to Pacific families in need. More than 3,922 food and education packs were distributed to support 6,493 families, made up of 29,026 individuals.
The principal of Tamaki College in Auckland and board director of Pasifika Futures, Soana Pamaka, says that her school community appreciates the ongoing support.
“When we reach out and offer our support to our Pacific families, they like that somebody cares for them during this difficult time. It’ a privilege to be a voice of kindness.
The families appreciate the fact that we are listening, and we are providing a service to meet their needs.”
Pamaka says that her staff called every family and household on their school roll to reach out and ensure that each person in their community was comfortable during the lockdown.
“What we found was that there was a lot of stress in the household, mainly there were too many people in the home and the young people were struggling because there was not enough personal space for them.
Mothers, in particular, appreciated the phone call because it gave them an opportunity to speak to someone and express their feelings and have someone listen to them.”
She says families will need to remain positive to navigate these uncertain times.
“We are all in this together. There is support and help available, you just need to ask for help and know where and who to ask. We are here for a reason.”
Date: Friday 12 March 2021