Caregiver story - Lesieli

Lesieli is a caregiver with a lot of aroha to give. She shares her whānau and culture with the tamariki she looks after and enjoys helping them try new things.

Lesieli sees real changes in the behaviour of the tamariki as they experience love and warmth in her whānau home. 

"Just because you were put into care, doesn't mean that you can’t have a brighter future."

"The journey may be a little bit harder, but it doesn't mean that you can't get there."


Lesieli – video transcript

Lesieli: I became a caregiver because I wanted to be able to give these kids the opportunity to have better life outcomes.
I find it rewarding having kids come in and making positive changes, seeing an actual change in their behaviour.

We are really close to my grandparents. My grandparents have an enormous amount of patience for things like taking them out to the taro leaves out at the back and explaining to them that “that is what we eat sometimes”, or if my grandad is fixing something they’ll go and watch, they’ll go and help, or just singing songs with my Nana, the kids love it!

Being exposed to a different culture can never hurt, given we live in a multicultural society. They are actually aware that there’s more than just English. I don’t think that they’ve been exposed to people who spoke a different language.
What they will benefit from is having patience to understand a different culture.

I like having them try new things. It’s surprising how unaware they are of different fruits and vegetables, so it’s quite nice, like you know, giving them watermelon and them saying “Oh I really like this, I really like this!”. And then the following week they go “Oh I hate that, that’s gross.” It’s quite fun just to watch them and all their new little things that they come up with.

We’ve included the kids in a lot of our traditional things, like we have our first Sunday in May is our Tongan Children’s Day, so we have a lot of Sunday School concerts and stuff and I’ve taken the kids and they actually really liked it.

Just because you were put into care, doesn’t mean that you can’t have a brighter future. The journey may be a little bit harder, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t get there.

End of transcript.

Published: April 23, 2018 · Updated: August 24, 2023