Kingi Whānau

As a solo mum of six, Catherine Kingi felt a little apprehensive at the thought of going into lockdown with limited resources.

With only one cellphone in her house Catherine prepared for the lockdown the best she could by creating time slots for each of her three tamariki to use her phone. This was to ensure that her children completed their mahi kainga on time. 

“It was a struggle, but we done the best we could at the time.”

Catherine says that at first, she was unaware of the resources developed by The Ministry of Education, that were aimed at supporting whānau during the lockdown.

“I wasn’t aware for the first week and a half into lockdown, but then I saw on Facebook that whānau could apply which was awesome.”

While extremely appreciative of the resources that were sent out to her tamariki, Catherine says that having their own devices to do all of their online learning would have also been a helpful educational resource for her whānau, as they did struggle with a lack of devices.

An unexpected silver lining to the lockdown period, however, was the quality time the Kingi whānau were able to share with one another and the one on one-time Catherine was able to have with her tamariki.

“Going into lockdown as a solo mum of 6 kids, I had a mental block of how I was going to entertain them during that time, but to my surprise it was the best quality time ever.”

Catherine says that the time together benefited everyone’s wairua, hinengaro, and tinana, bringing everyone closer together than before.  Catherine isn’t the only one who has felt this as a result of the lockdown, as many of her whānau members share the same experience.

“I have spoken with a lot of my whānau about lockdown, and we were all on the same page.”

“The children seemed really happy and healthy and really settled in and I really loved seeing that not only from my own children, but from my nieces and nephews too. My heart was so full.”

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