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Variety – the Children’s Charity of New Zealand’s Kiwi Kid Sponsorship, A Blessing to Many Families February 29, 2016 6:29 PM

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Solo mother Cherie and her three children used to live in Christchurch, but after a series of earthquakes devastated the city in 2011 they were effectively left homeless.

Five year old Dhanika, her eight year old sister Kharma, and younger brother Matauranga lost most of their personal possessions and the family’s furniture and appliances were destroyed along with their home.

Cherie drove her children to Auckland in an attempt to rebuild their lives in a safer city.  The displaced family spent four years staying with extended family and at the Women’s Refuge before finally reaching the top of the waiting list for government assisted housing.

Despite suffering Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Cherie remains a highly motivated parent who is passionate about her children’s education. She has just passed her first level test to enter the Police Force.

It has been a tough few years for the children who have had to miss out on some of the basics. As Cherie says they “just had to make do” with the little they had. They don’t have a television so the children keep themselves busy playing outside and Cherie reads to them every night.

A community social worker referred the family to Variety and Cherie’s two daughters were accepted onto the Variety Kiwi Kid Sponsorship programme. The two girls were matched with sponsors which has ensured they can have access to the essentials they need.

Variety New Zealand’s Kiwi Kid Sponsorship has connected sponsors with over 2,100 Kiwi kids living in deprivation to meet their needs. Sponsors pay a minimum of $35 a month to fund essentials the child would otherwise go without, be it basic clothing, shoes, stationery for school, bedding or medicine.

With the help of their generous sponsors, Cherie has been able to stock up on basics for both girls including bedding, clothing and shoes, and pay for school expenses like stationery. She says the support of her girls’ sponsors has been a huge help:

“I have told myself that even though we lost everything in the earthquake we’re still alive and that’s what matters, material possessions don’t matter. But Kiwi Kid Sponsorship has been a blessing.”

To learn more about Variety – the Children’s Charity of New Zealand, click here.