What an honour to be asked to be a member of the Establishment Committee for the Waikato Women’s Fund (WWF).
These amazing women around the table, who have committed to enabling positive change for the women and young girls of the Waikato, are inspiring and encouraging. Being part of the WWF family and committee, I am blessed to be amongst women who serve and lead with humility and love.
As a first-generation Pacific Island New Zealander of Tongan descent, born and raised in South Auckland and having now lived in Hamilton for 12 years, my involvement in the WWF is a very clear reminder of how ‘we are better together’, for real impact and reach to our communities.
As a Pacific woman the act of giving is not new to me culturally speaking. Pasifika people give because we do so out of generosity and concern for our ‘fanau’ or family. Through the culture of gift-giving among families the spirit of reciprocity naturally occurs as a result of receiving the gift with love gratitude. Pasifika people give even when we have very little – sometimes it’s a good thing, sometimes it’s not.
My sister, brother and I have been very blessed to have been raised by Tongan immigrant parents who met and married in Auckland. Both my parents believed we could be whatever we set our minds to and their support was unconditional, above and beyond, and I was never without. I was raised in a community, or some might say a village, where ‘the collective’ was the norm.
Through the Waikato Women’s Fund, this ‘village’ model is currently playing out. I see the authentic value in women supporting women, and women supporting young girls towards greatness – it can only be good for our nation.
For Pasifika, we love to hear and share stories, laugh and cry together, and encourage and desire to see the gold in each other. As a woman of faith, I believe if I ‘give, it will be given back to me. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into my lap. For with the measure I use, it will be measured to me.’ Luke 38:6. Therefore, the spirit of reciprocity rings true for me, always has and always will.
There is no pressure to give, yet whatever you donate, be it $1 or $100, you become part of our collective family, working towards bringing goodness to our women and young girls across the Waikato, the best way we can.
Impact and reach can be measured, which is important for me, as feedback and evaluation ensure the WWF are astute stewards delivering excellence for our members and our communities.
I encourage you to donate, I encourage you to get engaged, and I encourage you to spread the word about the Waikato Women’s Fund. C’mon!
"We are better together " enabling and celebrating the awesomeness of our Waikato women and young girls.
Tu’a ‘ofa atu, with respect and love