Refuge provides better lifestyle options

By Heeni Brown

Te Whare Marama o Māngere is a refuge for families affected by domestic violence and its co-ordinator, Christina Teikamata, has created a garden to help empower their residents to live a better lifestyle.

According to Christina Teikamata, Kaihautu of Te Whare Marama o Mangere, “It’s to empower women to be confident with cooking and gardening and providing for their children when they've come from an abusive background.”

There are six families currently living at Te Whare Marama and half of them are Māori.

Christina states, “A lot of the families come from poverty and we just noticed some really unhealthy eating patterns.  Our teams really wanted our families to learn healthy living.”

The garden has been running for nearly a year, and was a way for families to learn how to plant, grow and cook the food for their whānau.

It's hoped that the families who live here will always be able to make use of these life skills.